This evening, along with my wife and our four children, I saw the much anticipated sequel to the wildly successful computer animated movie Cars. The original film, released by Pixar in 2006, was an inspiring story of self redemption -- the main character a young rookie race car named "Lightning McQueen" (played by Owen Wilson) who, while talented, is narcissistic, careless, and highly self centered. Upon being stranded in fly-over country with ordinary people (well, cars), Lightning changes his ways and learns to do unto others. The original Cars was interesting, funny, family friendly, and had a decidedly Christian message.
Leave it to Hollywood to screw a formula like this up -- Cars 2 fell short on all counts. The sequel was rife with violence (cars being murdered), toilet humor (Mater soils the floor with motor oil and gets stuck in a Japanese toilet stall with an automated bidet), environmentalism, and anti-Americanism. The antagonists in the film consist of big oil (who are engaged in a deliberate conspiracy to kill people and discredit alternative energy) and Mator (a loyal but unsophisticated rusty old tow truck played by Larry The Cable Guy) is described as "oh yes... he's definitely American." Cars 2 was thematically very dark.
The reasons why the first Cars film was so successful are lost on Hollywood, and my prediction is that Cars 2 will fail to meet revenue expectations -- perhaps badly. It should be reviewed before watching it with your children.
Jason McNew is a 37 year old IT professional. He is working on a forthcoming book titled Jude's Acre. He can be reached at email@example.com.