Honestly, I can't understand why Cars 2 is getting so much flak from the critics. I found it adorable, hilarious, and in general everything I'd expect from a Pixar movie.
I thought it was nice that McQueen (who's already learned his lessons, after all) stepped aside for Mater to play lead protagonist. Mater and McQueen's friendship made me smile. I also loved the international theme. There were a lot of clever jokes and cultural bonuses. It was one of those movies that made you feel just a little bit closer to the rest of the globe. It was very cool to see more of this car-populated universe, and I was astounded by how much creativity must've gone into coming up with the little details. It's mind-blowing. Car airports, car bathrooms, cars riding in or on other vehicles. And when you see the spy cars put through their paces - for example, in the opening scene - the ingenuity behind their gadgets is ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome, that is. I kept thinking "How do you do that with cars?" and I kept getting answers.
The movie is also ridiculously pretty. Especially the shots of the cities. Every race scene reminded me of Gran Turismo, except even more stunning. But then, what do you expect from Pixar?
My only complaint is that the "be yourself" message felt a little bit forced and cliché. I would agree that this movie lacked the pathos and toying with the heartstrings that other Pixar movies do with mastery. In retrospect, that's a bit disappointing. But while I was watching the movie, it was so much fun I barely noticed.
My advice: it wasn't on par with the Pixar greats, but it was still pretty darn awesome and a lot better than most movies. You might not love this movie as much as I did, but don't just take my word or Rotten Tomatoes
' word for it. Go see for yourself.