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Movie Review: Cars 2

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Author/Source: Glen A. Woods

Topic: Movie Review, Reviews

A review of Cars 2, including description of the movie, areas of concern, teachable themes, discussion questions, and scriptures to use.

Movie Review: <em>Cars 2</em>


Fast cars, international spy intrigue, explosions, high tech gadgets, suspense, and buck-toothed tow truck Mater in the thick of it, stealing the show from Lightning McQueen as the leading man of the film. What more could you want in a movie?

Cars 2 has all of that and more, but at its heart, it is about friendship. Mater is Lightning McQueen’s most enthusiastic supporter. He is also a constant source of embarrassment due to his innocent unabashed kindness toward everyone. At one point, Lightning McQueen loses a race because of Mater’s clumsy use of a microphone which misdirects Lightning into a lane change that allows his adversary to pull ahead to victory. He then has some harsh words for Mater, clearly indicating he does not need or want the tow truck’s help at all.

Mater is crushed. The sharp words by Lightning and the cruel laughter of other cars haunt Mater’s memory during moments of vulnerability and isolation. Elsewhere, Lightning begins to feel the burden of his guilt for the harsh words he spoke.

And then things get dicey for both of them as they unwittingly get pulled into a plot which transcends the race, and threatens both of their lives, as well as the lives of many others.

Question is, will they live long enough to repair their friendship? Watch the movie to find out.


The film is rated G. Some children may become bored with extended dialogue which develops the spy craft plot points during parts of the film. Clocking in at just less than two hours, it is a bit long for its intended audience.

There is a mild potty humor scene in which the arch-villain car sets up Mater, making it look like he leaked oil (e.g. relieved himself) in front of a large audience. Mater rushes to the restroom. Because they were at a racetrack in Asia, he misreads the signs and accidently enters the women’s facility, prompting screams from the female cars within, and snickers from the audience. When Mater finally makes it to the men’s restroom, further mild shenanigans ensue. While the events produce chuckles, they also may generate interesting questions from kids to their parents at home.

Teachable Themes  

  • Reconciliation:

Lightning McQueen realizes his reaction to Mater was harsh and hurtful. He goes to great lengths to restore their friendship and set to rights the wrong actions he had taken against him. For his part, Mater also desires for their friendship to be reconciled, recognizing that his clumsiness had hurt his friend and apologizing for it.

  • Friends Love Each Other

This is demonstrated by their mutual faithfulness and high regard they learn to hold for one another.

  • Every Person has Value

Mater gradually learns this during the film. His friends, who sometimes do not take Mater seriously, also begin to recognize this.

Biblical Reference

  • Reconciliation
    • Matthew 5:23-24 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” 
    • Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
  • Friends Love Each Other
    • Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
    • Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
    • Proverbs 27:5-6 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
  • Every Person has Value
    • Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
    • Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
    • Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you have a friend who sometimes bothers you? How do you work it out? Do you think you sometimes bother them? 
  2. When you know you have hurt a friend’s feelings, how do you make things better? What if they do not accept your apology?
  3. Have you ever had your feelings hurt by someone teasing you or calling you names? How do you usually respond? If your usual response just makes things worse, do you think there might be a better way to respond?
  4. What do you think the Bible says about how God feels about you? What about how God feels about your friends? The people who treat you badly?


Cars 2 is a solid sequel to its predecessor. Although it runs a little long, there is enough action and humor to keep most kids interested. I appreciate its focus on friendship and how to handle conflict. The film makers have given parents a terrific opportunity to discuss these issues with their children. I watched the film in 2D and I do not feel like I missed out. I recommend it to most families, except for those whose children might start fussing because they are lost in some of the prolonged dialogue and the length (1:53) of the film itself. Most kids 5 or older should be fine.

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