Cars 2 is a cute little family-friendly movie that you can watch with your kids, right?
Cars 2 is the most violent, intense, and bizarre movie I have ever seen that is still entirely made for children. There’s espionage and death and spies and Michael Caine. It literally should not be for kids. Or human consumption.
I feel like I’m going insane. Who greenlit this project???
Yes, there is DEATH in this adorable Pixar movie! Why???
And not just off-screen death, like Doc Hudson’s death (RIP Paul Newman). No, we literally see a car “tortured” to death, if that’s a term I can use for a car exploding. It brings back memories of dark movies like The Brave Little Toaster where the junk cars were crushed. If this were a movie about people, it would NOT be for children. Come to think of it, even with cars, it still doesn’t feel like a movie for children.
Of course, the most lethal car in the movie is Finn McMissile (Caine) who takes out at least ten cars. For such a corny name, his record is deadly and he’s definitely not a car I would like to meet.
Is this movie not mentally scarring for children??? It’s mentally scarring for me!
Spies are an okay topic for children’s movies. But there are things you just don’t allude to in kids movies, like death. Cars 2 really said screw that and decided to let kids know that spies die all the time. Move over, James Bond. Mater is the ultimate spy and his life is constantly in danger.
Do kids even understand the plot of this movie? My two-year-old nephew watches it all the time but I doubt he’s considered the plot. He doesn’t know anything about the fuel that a corrupt businessman is selling knowing that is dangerous for cars to consume. He doesn’t understand the movie’s message about the dangers of capitalism. To him, it’s just cars doing cool things.
Larry the Cable Guy
When I think spies, I don’t think Larry the Cable Guy. Yet, there he is, providing the voice for Mater the master super spy. Do you think they gave the script to Larry or is he just saying random things and the animators decided to relate it to spies? I would not be surprised if he were drunk for the entire movie. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the voice actors were drunk for the entire movie. I know I wanted to be.
It’s insane to me that Larry the Cable Guy has a spy movie and other more spy-like actors don’t. It’s also insane to me that Cars 2 exists at all but we’ve already discussed this.
I have nothing against Larry the Cable Guy, but how did this guy get cast in such an off-the-wall movie? He should be off making hillbilly B-movies and bad comedy specials instead of absolutely blowing my mind with his performance as an unwitting super spy.
The Plot to Kill the Queen
As far as I know, Cars 2 is the only movie that has had the balls to try to kill the Queen of England. Most filmmakers would consider this pretty tasteless or blasphemous, but not John Lasseter. No, Mr. Lasseter said let’s put a guy with a bomb right next to the car Queen of England and attempt to blow her up.
Not even James Bond himself has dealt with criminal activity of this level. No, only Mater the Tow Truck has ever had to fight himself out of this one. Imagine trying to explain to your child the concept of assassination and who the Queen of England is. Might as well just start showing this as an intro to politics in kindergarten.
There’s just so much to digest in Cars 2 and the plot to assassinate the Queen is just the icing on the cake.
Michael Caine is no stranger to children’s films. One of my favorite performances of his is as Ebenezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol. So, it’s really not too much of a stretch to have him as Finn McMissile in Cars 2.
But the juxtaposition of a character like Mater against a character like Finn is astounding. The two couldn’t be farther apart. And, of course, their voice actors are also worlds apart. It’s just amazing to me the caliber of people involved in this insane film.
Even Owen Wilson and Michael Caine together is kind of far-fetched for me. But Larry the Cable Guy and Michael Caine? That’s a level of contradiction that is almost too much for my brain to handle.
You know what? I’m going to say it: Cars 2 is the best installment in the Cars franchise. It isn’t nearly as emotional as the first or third movie, but it sure packs a punch. And by “punch”, I mean that this movie punches you in the gut repeatedly. For no reason.
I really enjoy that this movie also introduces other aspects of the Cars world to us, creating some problematic ideas. For example, there is a Car Queen of England. And a Pope Car, which implies the existence of Car Catholicism, which brings up a lot of other concerning implications. Was there Car Imperialism, considering that there is a British monarchy? The Cars Universe is actually pretty complex once you get into it.
The best part about this movie is that I never know what’s going to happen next. Is Mater going to log his first kill? Is he going to fall in love with the random spy lady? Exactly what year is it in the Cars Universe, and what does that imply for the rest of the movie?
So many questions, so little time.
Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts on Cars 2? Comment down below!
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