I'm openly a big fan of Pixar and Disney generally so it should be no surprise that I really loved the visual quality of the film. I was very impressed with the immersive graphic detail in all of the worldwide sets. The artistic design on the various characters and props made this a very visually appealing movie.
The story was quite fun as well. Disney-Pixar obviously realized the appeal of Mater (I never saw his other short cartoons) and gave him a see front and center in this film. The overall plot is something we've seen before...an unlikely average Joe (or Mater) is mistaken for a hero/spy and forced into the role of saving the world. From this sometimes overused plot trope, Pixar added creativity and fun fueled not only by the quirkiness of Mater's character but also by the anthropomorphism of setting it in a world where cars (and other machines) are alive. Putting the spy action-adventure movie on top of the Cars point-of-view added some fun twists and turns that helped make the plot engaging.
The writing was pretty fun with plenty of tongue-in-cheek jokes, spy movie spoofing and slapstick style humor that had the audience laughing. The writing and plot drove smoothly through the movie. As with any spy/mystery movie, there were the "monologue" scenes where we get descriptions of the villain's plot...but these didn't come off as long winded and felt as in-place as the denouement at the end of a Scooby Doo episode.
Overall we had a lot of fun watching this and felt like it really surpassed the first movie. The kids have asked to see it again, which is always a good sign. As an adult, I had a lot of fun. I'm a "kid at heart" in many ways, but I feel like this is something that most adults can enjoy as long as they're willing to let go of their serious side and sit down and watch a cartoon...the plot is intriguing and complex enough and the writing and humor tight enough that, while it is a kids show, it is entertaining enough for adults.
If you haven't had a chance to see it yet, give it a try. You'll have fun.
4 out of 5 stars
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