Cars 2 [Blu-Ray] John Lasseter, Brad Lewis

Cars 2 [Blu-Ray] John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
One of the saving graces about enduring particularly crappy children's films is that they're usually quite short, understanding that most children have limited attention spans, which is ever compounded and exacerbated with each generation. But, for some reason, Cars 2, like the original, is nearly two hours long, which was fine the first time around when the story was basically a protracted variation of The Little Engine that Could, but this time they focus the entire film on Mater: the mentally challenged, rusted tow truck voiced by Larry the Cable Guy. Much like the plot of an actual Larry the Cable Guy movie, wherein women like Jenny McCarthy or Carmen Electra play "believable" love interests for a fat, uneducated redneck, this surprisingly well-animated pseudo-action film places a bumbling idiot in an unlikely situation, proving that even those with potentially compromised DNA can save the world. While accompanying Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) to a world championship race in Japan, where gags about talking toilets ensue, Mater is wrongly mistaken for an American spy by two British agents (Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer), who involve him in a flimsy tale of espionage concerning the sabotaging of cars using environmentally friendly fuel. And because this is a Hollywood film made by the most prosperous vessels of capitalistic whimsy, the villains are inevitably, hypocritically, corporate money-grubbers bent on exploiting the world's oil reserves. Of course, while we wait for the inevitable reveal (why on Earth is Eddie Izzard playing such a small part?), we're treated to endless babble from Larry the Cable Guy trying to sell some weird ersatz ennui when he becomes conscious of his status as laughable fool. While the impressive, exceedingly detailed animation might keep the kiddies engaged for a short time, the bloated, disengaging and wrongheaded spy story most likely won't appeal to anyone. Perhaps if the jokes weren't all about taco trucks and crapping it might have been tolerable, but... Included with the Blu-Ray is a commentary track for the many five-year olds that love listening to grown men babble on about their work, along with two short animated films: one about Mater (again) and another about Ken and Barbie from the Toy Story universe. At least it's nice to see the Toy Story gang together again for a couple of minutes, even if the actual tale is pretty lame. (Buena Vista)