Cars 2 - Mater, McMissile

"Cars 2" 4* (5* if plotline continued more Euro spies than Mater goofs) stars sporty steel gray Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) sneaking over moon-high Pacific rolling swells to invade hidden oil platforms, photograph monocled foreign scientist Professor Zündapp and apparent camera, witness crushed British agent, spin on high-wire acrobatics, explosive chase maneuvers ... then diverts.

Brits constantly save rusty truck Tow Mater (Daniel Whitney aka Cable Guy) ignorant of holding device, photographic evidence snapped at sea. Bestie Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) races at World Grand Prix hosted by Sir Miles Axelrod (Eddie Izzard). Oil thugs follow to Tokyo, Italy, Paris, then finally London. British agent (office backup, not experienced in field) pink Holly Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) and Finn "British Intelligence - are you CIA?" rescue Mater "average Intelligence, triple A affiliated" while his stupidity distracts McQ into losing the first race to suave Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro). The occasional spark hardly compensates for continual screwups endangering everyone. When his ticking bomb finally gets through to just as obtuse McQ, why do they not disconnect? Last minute guess in front of the Liz Queen who can voice-deactivate borders on lucky. (PS car Guido voiced by Guido) Trailer

Bonus Features
Directors' Commentary by John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
Wanted new emotional story for sequel, so start with boat juxtapose with old world in Radiator Springs at drive-in. Lasseter and five sons love spy movies like Bourne series. Spiffy gadgets, weapons, even hologram disguise roof gadget were design dreams come true. Inspirations were 1 cut movie within movie scene from Cars1 with first date Sally-McQ 2 Cars1 publicity toured world noted roadways 3 Cars1 publicity at glamourous Spain Grand Prix. North by Northwest classic about innocent entangled by espionage. Finn's gadgets important. His kid didn't know what a "lemon" was, so introduced Otis, from town drunk on Andy Griffith show. Wanted tribute to Paul Newman Doc Hudson, so renamed Cup, but falls flat if Cars1 not remembered or known. Turn Wheel Well Hotel into fancy restaurant "where we would want to go". Torturro was so funny, imitating friends, that Francesco's role grew.

Teams scouted locations to car-ify details - architecture and all; they say you can see car parts, I can't. Songs important in Cars1; Weezer redid Cars "You Might Think". Red Bull invited them to their glamourous Museum of Modern Art party, pits, everywhere; in Hawaiian shirt, Lasseter felt out of place like Mater. Cars1 had real drivers like Mario Andretti, so Jeff Gorvette (Gordon in Corvette). World champion Lewis Hamilton late to recording in cool Mercedes, ran out of gas, used up by girlfriend, filled tank himself. Wanted Holly strong, from sexy to smartest; Finn video game old school; Holly latest high-tech. Japanese toilet really does have crazy, unreadable to English, buttons.

Mater is brilliant, about cars; junkyard owner knows parts. Electromagnetic pulse really does heat and expand certain fuels. Killing American agent Redline conveys exposition and fatal peril of villains. Broadcaster Brent real 35 years in American TV announcing sporting events, so they asked him to reshape scripts. Used throaty Formula 1 engine roars instead of music for race sequence. In everyday real life, hearing them nearby was just noise. In airports, where humans take shoes off, cars take tires off, makes no sense, just like our red-tape inconvenient security measures. Grem orange gremlin, and Acer green Pacer are thugs to support bad guy who represents big oil interests, undercover in high position.

Siddeley (nod to British WW2 aerospace history) spy jet part of expansion to planes, boats and trains. John train nut, so Stevenson high-speed spy train. John kisses wife Nancy on Pont des Arts, bridge on Seine, so "gift to her" cars kiss onscreen. Made 3D short film Knick Knack in 1989, before theatres could show 3D. Tuscany-style village named Carsoli after Casoli, hometown of their composer. Uncle Topolini voiced by famous Italian actor Franco Nero, so his wife Vanessa Redgrave, voices wife Mama Topolino, then Queen of England.

Corsa means racetrack, so Porta Corsa inspired by three places: Portofino, Italian Riviera cliff-side Positano, Monte Carlo. If dad-gum & shoot expletives tricky to translate as misconstrued voice commands, watching with French voices or captions catches curiosity. Palm fronds on top, Hot(el) sign around neck, whizzed past too fast; meant to resemble crazy Francesco fan. Big Ben gears only size of coffee table, so Big Bentley gears result of artistic license.

Mater dream sequences were from before, higher viewpoint. Crown on Bentley-Rolls Queen is jewelled luggage rack. London is overcast to save time for lighting, but that is real life London. Spy theme music for Finn is surf guitar, electric banjo for Mater. Prof lands on balloon - who knew was event mascot Globie? Falling beer glass in pub on thugs most costly sequence to animate. When the ending became Mater finding himself, redid whole story to point away from Axelrod, except for details Mater would know. I did not know why Mater was making silly faces before his knighting ceremony; he was making faces at the high-hat sentries; I had no urge - people do?.

John likes epilogues, so back to Springs and tall tale. Previewer suggested Holly be girlfriend. Final race in Springs shows participants from Grand Prix safe, alive, once part of Cars1. Those are hay bales on end lining the track? Bales nowadays are huge circles. Bales 9sec

Closing dialogue copies Cars1. Ghost of Otis left when Mater rockets away puzzled, is layer of dust settling after long wait. End credits song paired Cars1 Brad Lewis with Robbie Williams UK singer. Postcards over a map confused, record journey across Europe via Australia and Hawaii, hardly enroute, before best buds return home. That could be Cars3, but what about Holly? any strong female? instead of same old bromance?

Chance brought Cars1 on TV tonight, recap Doc Hudson sentencing brash rookie McQ to re-asphalt Route 66 for Radiator Springs; porsche Sally, cow-tipping Mater, and the crashed racer Hudson revitalize his heart, so he pushes the smashed King over the Piston Cup finish line ahead of his ambitions. Bonus short was Time Travel Mater, where Mater gets a billboard clock in his engine, and travels back to keep town founder Stanley on site, and waylay sweetheart Model T Ford Lizzie.

(Whodunit Spoiler:
Axelrod is mastermind villain.)

Extra Shorts:

Hawaiian Vacation 5:50 Tee-Hee-Haw Toy Story gang help Barbie and Ken consummate romantic first kiss. Trailer :28

Air Mater 5:22 Tall Tale Mater dad-gum flew backwards into being a Falcon Hawk acrobat, broke the sound barrier, and oops, wings. Trailer :40

Sneak Peeks: Planes trailer 1:24

Foam flecked green mesmerizes; ending clumsily disjoints, forces Mater's story overtop best part. Finn McM's license is 314 FMCM - what do numbers mean; does pi 3.14 etc have relevance? Squished dead Leland Turbo is terrifyingly gruesome, spiralling chase distracts, shows flashing bombs that save him in the end again. If boats have personalities, couldn't one pursuer be good, uncertain, or a double agent? "Wunderbar" harks back to WW2 Nazi villains. Never noticed "dad-gum" started way back here. If Mater never leaks, why does he hippty hop as if? His loo massage loses humor when poor Yank Rod Redline (Bruce Campbell) is getting massacred. His voice instantly sparks to flame: Burn Notice's tough international spy marksman Sam Axe, perfect casting. I'd go for more of him, not nauseating Mater. Why don't they follow the parts to their destination?

Takes pauses to absorb beauty and cleverness of Cars world, better than the noise. They did miss or ignore sunbathing, hats to screen ultraviolet - doesn't sun fade paint? Water sports: frolicking in surf, swimming, water-skiing, para-sailing - no equivalents? How can all of Springs afford to fly last minute to England? must be so rich, makes Mater's 'powerful and rich beyond your wildest dreams ain't gonna make you feel better' speech hypocritical. Thugs said bomb was in pit, so still should have exploded; 'too easy' escape was not easy. How translate "you're the bomb" meaning best? If Mater's boasts are always empty, how can he karate baddies?

Replay with French captions
"Tout va mal" = Everything's gone pear-shaped. Ocean would be awesome in IMAX. "Calme-toi le moteur" = Don't get your prop in a twist. "Quel con" = What a jerk. "Remourqueur" = tug, should be "tomater" loses the Mater rhyme. "Comme sur des roulettes" = like on wheels, nothing near smooth like pudding. At least "citron" is lemon. French must have man, pal, buddy, fellow, guy, (type = bloke) slang, for when hippie volkswagen bus and mechanic say blah, blah, "man". Hillbilly ain't, nuthin, gol darn, y'all, (zut = shoot) - how translate? "Bon sang" in the Museum is more like.

"Foudre" doesn't have the same ring as Flash, good call. Mater-"Serveur" is not funny, no rhyme Mater-waiter. "Sir" is just "M." mister, shouldn't Miss Sally be Mlle? Do French voices have Italian accents too? Google translate says "pit stop" is "pit stop", not arrêt ravitaillement (refueling). Holly's British "loo" is cute "petit coin" = little corner - is that a childish term like our potty? Why extra "e" for "Holley"?

"Nom du chien" is right-on for doggone-it. Mater's candy request 'two a dem sweets' pun on "tout de suite" right away, is just repeated straight, and lost. The British agents never look for the dead American agent when Mater takes his place; these deaths are all cartoon puffery, no pain.

Does écolos (ecologists) denigrate like tree-huggers? If Porta Corsa was full of celebrities, too bad we couldn't have seen some car versions of them, are too many permissions needed? Don't TV show make fun of bigwigs lots? "Bébé pleurnichard" works for cry baby bottom. Casino "les dés" loses the fuzzy on dice - the ornaments hanging from car rear window mirrors

"Nom d'un pneu" = name of a tire ~ Dad-gum, like doggone, name of god or dog before, activates computer "arme à feu" = firearm "Descendez ça" = get it ~ shoot it. "Pas ce genre de descente" = not that type of descent ~ not that chute, "déploiement pour la descente" ~ deploy the chute (synonym).

Third time is not the charm. Villains set up to shoot McQ racing; everyone expects him to die; Mater scratches free after; plan B would have to make sure he got away and close to McQ, who would be beside Queen and Sir Evil if he finished. Fleeing out of range of the bomb signal transmitter is too lucky. Like Miss Sally, captions say "Miss Shiftwell" instead of Mlle mademoiselle. She zaps Dr Z but wouldn't he disclose the commander rather that die? Mater does not know London streets, ignores the race course, crosses the city to the finish line. Witworth bolts could be any old auto. Anyone should've seen the oil leak from supposed electric Axlerod. The Queen ask especially for Mater on another mission; how can he refuse?

Replay in French with English captions

Everything Fr. (French) "Les Bagnoles" main film title, ocean pacifique, Flash, newspapers, signs. Much plus vite, too fast, every frame has more different spoken than written words. Mater pronounced like ma terre, not may-tr. Little ship claims Fr.flotte = float, not crabbing, jerk = Fr.imbecile, (prop = oreilles?). Ger. Sehr Gut. Professeur Zed, not Zee (Québec?) Holly flies, but Finn submarines. Pudding = Fr.Brie soft cheese. Gentle cars = cher voitures. Easy common words never the same: super, parfait, plus bon, cool, marvellieux, genial, fabuleuse; d'accord, compris, bien sûr. Here Holly says toilettes, not petit coin in captions. Mater says fiancee, not copine = girlfriend (again a Quebéc difference?). In the Tokyo alley chase, captions say Mme Shiftwell = Madame = Mrs = typo.

Finn introduces self as service secrèt to Mater's service routine, CAA (Canadian Auto Association, like AAA). Does political correctness change the joke 'is the popemobile catholic' to 'is a ferrari italian?' Director Lassiter makes a big deal how Mater never kills the bad guys in the casino - why not? they killed good guys already? After villains caught them, they could've just killed them like the others, squished or blown up - tied up inside Big Ben(tley) only works in a story. How can McQ drive backwards without rear-view mirrors? He's explosif, not 'the bomb'. ProfZ license plate is BAD GA 58, like Finn, what does second line mean? 6A? If the ship exploded ProfZ, how did Finn survive? When Mater knows the super villain, the confidence crisis requiring McQ rings false, stops momentum. Cars sure evacuate faster than people during a bomb scare. Introduction with McQ and Majèsté, less rhythm than Queen. She knights him "Sir" but google says seigneur means Lord, Sir.

Replay extra features en français
Hawaiian Vacation - Captions are have less words than English soundtrack, but fairly direct translation, such as "you're not wearing any pants" in voiced French points out his fishing line. Ken and Barbie did tan by rolling over their bodies to backside and keeping heads face up. Brrr. Buzz speaks Spanish on English and French versions, says Hola signoras et signores, and caca removed from gato cat box.
Air Mater - signs in English. Hawks = Fr.Falcons. Magnifique.

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