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Cars 2 (U)

Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.

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The critical consensus

There's more going on than there was in Cars and the globe-trotting's a gas. But compared to the pick of the Pixar pack, this is some way down the grid.

***(*)(*)Neil Smith, Total Film, 10/07/2011

After 25 years of animation production and a run of critical and commercial smash-hits, the super-smooth Pixar production line finally blows a gasket with Cars 2, a colourful but overstuffed, noisy and heartless sequel that feels more like a toy commercial than a film.

**(*)(*)(*)Eddie Harrison, The List, 13/07/2011

It’s not vintage Pixar, but Cars 2 is still streets ahead of most of the animated pack. For all its energy and Bondian panache, perhaps its problems are insurmountable: Pixar’s cars — and their universe — don’t resonate and endear as much as its toys, monsters, clownfish and OAP dreamers.

***(*)(*)Ian Freer, Empire Online, 18/07/2011

Much of Cars 2 is a bit silly and unsubtle, with the cast hamming it up on all cylinders and a surprisingly large number of gags about toilets, given that everyone in this universe is a car.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 19/07/2011

Under the hood it’s all horse power, little heart.

**(*)(*)(*)Thom Atkinson, The Skinny, 20/07/2011

They can’t make up for the film’s ear-splitting noisiness, generic action sequences and, most critically, its very un-Pixar lack of soul.

***(*)(*)Sukhdev Sandhu, The Telegraph, 21/07/2011

A cynic might wonder if this film simply generates lots of different car characters for toys and branded merchandise. Not much engine-power here.

**(*)(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 21/07/2011

Driving is bad for the planet, but America is addicted to petrol. With politics like that, not to mention a plot made out of Turtle Wax, it’s no surprise the whole thing is such an ugly mess.

Nell Frizzell, Little White Lies, 21/07/2011

A serious misstep from a seemingly infallible studio.

Paul Greenwood, Evening Times, 21/07/2011

The animation is Pixar brilliant as ever but any way you cut it, lumps of metal don’t make the most endearing of heroes.

**(*)(*)(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 21/07/2011

This isn't Pixar at top gear.

***(*)(*)Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent, 22/07/2011

There are no surprises, few decent gags and, as we learned with the first film, talking cars just aren't as loveable as talking animals...this is one for the scrap heap.

**(*)(*)(*)David Edwards, Daily Record, 22/07/2011

You do feel that Cars 2 has been more of a duty than a pleasure.

Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 22/07/2011

Alas, praising the technical accomplishments of a Pixar film instead of rhapsodising about the story and the characters is damning it with very faint praise.

**(*)(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 23/07/2011

This 3D animated movie does not show the formidable Pixar team at its best.

Philip French, The Observer, 24/07/2011

Cars 2 is sure to be adored by young viewers who won't mind the weak puns or the sentimental bromides. There's nothing wrong with a cartoon providing a couple of hours' fun for children, of course. It's just that Pixar films usually do so much more.

Nicholas Barber, The Independent on Sunday, 24/07/2011

Cars 2 features some of the best animation ever seen. It may not capture the usual Pixar magic or sophistication and it may lack the appeal of characters that tug at the emotion like Buzz and Woody but don’t get me wrong, it’s a good kid’s movie, just not vintage Pixar.

STV, 23/07/2011

Features about Cars 2 (U)

Pixar's Cars 2 spy story drives film animation to new heights

Dalya Alberge, The Observer, 26/06/2011

Pixar's John Lasseter: 'Cars 2 is a spy movie'

Ben Child, The Guardian, 22/07/2011

Cars 2 (U)©Disney/Pixar All rights reserved

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

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