Fun fact: On the rare occasion, I think.
This may come as a surprise to some of you; it comes as a surprise to me as well. In fact, the other day, I was experiencing this rare phenomenon of using my brain, and, during that extraordinary time, I produced an equally extraordinary thought. “What was that thought, oh wise Thomas?” you ask. Excellent question, I’m thrilled you asked! The thought was:
Cars 2 is a FANTASTIC movie.
Now, I’m not saying Cars 2 is the best Pixar movie of all time. The first Cars claims that rank by a mile. However, I’m also not saying Cars 2 isn’t still awesome, and it certainly does not deserve the hate it receives. If I was on Pixar Tinder and I had to choose between Cars 2, The Incredibles, Up, and any Toy Story movie… Mater’s getting an easy right-swipe from me.
Yes, that is indeed the best analogy I could come up with.
Defense #1: The Humor. Just like my jokes, Cars 2 is objectively hilarious. There’s no argument to be had here.
For instance, after secret agent Finn McMissile introduces himself as “Finn McMissile, British intelligence,” the wonderful conglomeration of awesomeness and all things joyful that is the character of Mater responds, “Tow Mater, average intelligence.” I quote this far too often, mainly because it is far too applicable to myself.
There are so many great, quotable jokes in this underrated classic. How Rotten Tomatoes could ever give this film a lower score than “Onward” is beyond me. Then again, it’s astonishing how Rotten Tomatoes could ever give anything a lower score than Onward, but that’s beside the point.
Defense #2: The Plot. Here’s a quick Cars 2 plot summary: It’s James Bond, but car-form. What’s not to love?
One might even say it’s… James Honda… I mean… Bonda… I mean… um… please disregard this line until I can make this pun work.
I really want to know who, after watching the first movie about an arrogant racing star learning to appreciate the simple things in life in a quiet town, thought to themselves, “Ah, yes, spy cars. That’s what this universe needs.” I’m certainly not mad about it. I love it!
There’s explosions. There’s cars getting beaten up in bathrooms. Cars getting smushed. Cars getting shot at. An evil German car, then a surprise evil British car. If that doesn’t make you want to re-watch this movie, nothing will.
Defense #3: The Moral. For a movie about sentient vehicles, Cars 2 has a surprisingly heartwarming lesson.
Over the course of the movie, Lightning McQueen learns to value the friendship he has with Mater and to not be embarrassed by his actions. An Italian character tells him, “Chi trova un amico, trova un tesoro,” which means, “Whoever finds a friend, finds a treasure.” This line serves as the movie’s main moral, and it is such a valuable message.
While I don’t want to look too far into this movie for kids, I can’t help but wonder if Mater’s journey to solve the mystery of who is sabotaging the races that results in him being trapped in “Big Bentley” and later enduring a dramatic showdown in the streets of London in front of the Queen shrewdly symbolizes our journey through life to solve the mystery of what our purpose is, which results in us being trapped in midlife crises (aka our own Big Bentleys) and later enduring a dramatic showdown against our own fears and personal obstacles in order to triumph in the metaphorical streets of London.
I just really love this film, guys.
Imagine thinking that a James Bond-style comedy created by Pixar featuring talking spy cars with explosions, great animation, and Larry the Cable Guy ISN’T a wonderful cinematic creation. Couldn’t be me.