By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
By Claire Lawton
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Anna Merlan
Pixar's Cars franchise takes a sharp turn from NASCAR mayhem and red-state-targeted '50s nostalgia to 007 espionage with the upgraded sequel Cars 2, though in its delivery of Matchbox-machine superheroics for its young male demographic, it stays true to its prime function as an advertising vehicle for merchandise. Nonetheless, if this shift can't stave off monotony, it's still welcome, as the series at least dispatches with conservative cultural pandering in favor of be-yourself platitudes and pro-environment messages. High-speed pursuits revolve around hot-rod Lightning McQueen's (Owen Wilson) participation in a globe-trotting world grand prix, during which his redneck tow-truck BFF, Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), is mistaken for a spy by a British secret agent (Michael Caine), becoming embroiled in a plot involving outmoded auto "lemons" and alternative green fuels. Director John Lasseter's 3-D-enhanced animation sparkles, but it can't energize centerpieces lacking in suspense, and shoving bumbling sidekick Mater into the spotlight does little to offset the dullness.
Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city