Excellent action sequences, gorgeously animated, and a thrilling spy narrative. So, why the two stars? Whatever charm Mater had in the previous entry has completely dissipated. They dial up his goofiness and leave the endearment too far behind. Almost every scene involving him or his story with Lightning falls flat.
John Lasseter says that Pixar remove the bad scenes in their films by "spanking them". So why didn't they spank the lack of humour, the cliches, the extreme, DreamWorks-style bathroom humour and the overused puns? And doesn't John know that my eyes get kind of sore when I see 3D? Everyone makes mistakes, but I'm never going to look at Pixar the same way again.
If you mentally switch out the cars in Cars with post-human description of entire cyborg societies where the beings can constantly update themselves and switch out their own body's mechanics, Cars is kinda trippy. If you do that with Cars 2, you'll completely lose your shit and probably get paranoia-laced nightmares for weeks.
I understand it's "just a kid's movie," but the entire CARS universe is so utterly inane and unplanned beyond the "hey, wouldn't it be weird if?" setup that I cannot connect with these films. And the sequel is flat-out terrible, an unneeded cash-grab for one of the most profitable studios in the world. No characterization, bad editing and a surprising, saddening reliance on gun violence for kid's entertainment.