‘Cars 2’ is not to be missed

I have to dedicate this review to the late Paul Newman (“Hud”) who voiced Doc Hudson in “Cars.” Paul Newman was a legend of the big screen and a shining example of a humanitarian; there will never be another Paul Newman.

“Cars 2” is the latest film from animation iconoclast John Lasseter (“Toy Story” series). “Cars 2” is an enjoyable, creative, entertaining and brilliant fun-filled ride for people of all ages.

I’m always hesitant with sequels. I was especially hesitant with “Cars 2” because the first film was very special, having been one of Paul Newman’s last movies. I won’t compare “Cars” in this review, but I knew “Cars 2” had some important shoes to fill. The movie has a shocking plot for an animated film.

“Cars 2” is a James Bond film in the world of animation with a dash of an old Hitchcock thriller. The screenplay is superb and this film will no doubt be up for Best Animated feature come Oscar time.

I watched the movie in 3-D. I know I’ve stated my issues with 3-D, so I decided to see what the (positive) fuss was all about. Luckily with this movie, it made no difference. There are no 3-D gags and the filmmakers (not a surprise) treat the audience with respect.

The adult humor in this film is a number of wonderfully timed jabs at our society and political climate. I know I’ve alluded to the change in animation films (being more for adults then kids with certain content) when I reviewed “Rio” and “Kung-Fu Panda 2.” However, “Cars 2” treats itself like a movie. Not a cartoon, animated feature or kids movie.

There are movies, film and cinema. A movie is what we usually get every week (the latest “Twilight” movie), film is something like “Star Wars” cinema is “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). “Cars 2” is film, it has all the elements of a great film. It doesn’t rely on technology or following from the first film or (guaranteed) kids audience to entertain you.

It recreates itself moment to moment. Owen Wilson returns as Lightning McQueen and “Larry the Cable Guy” plays his best friend, a goofy tow truck. Even if I was one to give away plot, it’s not necessary with this one. The added treat of “Cars 2” was hearing Michael Caine (“Dark Knight”) as a cartoon.

 I give this film my complete seal of approval and will “See you at the Movies.” If you go to Honolulu, do not see in 3-D (save your money).

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