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Tow Mater, average intelligence.


Cars 2
(2011)

Superior to the original, but only by virtue of stealing the plot of The Man Who Knew Too Little (and other films of mistaken spy identity). Owen Wilson takes a backseat to Larry the Cable Guy's moronic breakdown truck in an undercooked spy spoof. 

So original it has Michael Caine riffing on his spy persona, which he also riffed on in Austin Powers 3 almost a decade ago. It's made with the accomplishment you expect from Pixar, but it leaves the strong impression that the studio's king (who is co-director, and a lifelong auto-nut) is empty of ideas and hoisted by his own petard (the original was a middling success, so it's his passion for shit ideas, or chasing the vast merchadising bucks that this franchise offers that was the attraction; either way it doesn't reflect well on Lasseter).

And there's something rather objectionable in the apparently progressive but-revealed-so fast-it-actually-appears-to-promote-the-status-quo plotline. Without revealing the hokey twist, you get the distinct impression that Pixar is in favour of continued oil-guzzling auto-abandon, since the alternatives prove suspect or dismissed in a quip. A far cry from the affecting beauty of a world destroyed by its own infatuation with technology that was Wall.E, only a few years ago.

**

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