Cinefantastique Spotlight: CARS 2

World Enough and Crime: Racecar Lightning McQueen (left, voiced by Owen Wilson) and loveable tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy, center) are dragooned into international espionage by dashing super spy Finn McMissile (Michael Caine, right) in CARS 2.

Kids love cars, and kids love CARS — that seems to be the calculation behind Pixar’s latest animated offering, CARS 2. Abandoning the original film’s theme that celebrated the romance of exploring off-the-beaten-superhighway U.S, director John Lasseter and crew have devised an espionage plotline for this sequel, with cocky racecar Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and kids’-fave country-bumpkin tow-truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy, a.k.a. Daniel Lawrence Whitney) embarking on a whirlwind world tour to compete in an international racing competition, and finding themselves dragooned into a deadly conspiracy being battled by suave superspy Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and his sexy (check out those steel-belted radials!) partner Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer). With beautifully crafted settings and numerous, exquisitely choreographed action sequences, does CARS 2 overcome the problems found in the first installment, a film that many feel is Pixar’s weakest effort? Join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they examine the movie.

Also in this episode: Steve offers his thoughts on Woody Allen’s hit fantasy/comedy, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, Dan discusses the level of human misery he’ll inflict for the sake of saving a few lousy bucks, and the gang discusses the inscrutable artistry of Michael Bay.

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