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‘Cars 2’ serves up the action overseas

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Spies and espionage aren’t exactly what you’d expect from an animated Disney movie, but that’s exactly what you’ll find in “Cars 2.”
The Pixar computer-animated film released on June 24 is the sequel to the 2006 film, “Cars.” Unlike the original film, however, “Cars 2” is set in Japan, Italy and England.
The characters participate in a World Grand Prix race and unwittingly get involved in espionage.
Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is challenged to race in the World Grand Prix by a popular Italian racecar, Francesco Burnoulli (voiced by John Tuturro).
Lightning was not interested at first but Sally, (Holly Hunter) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), along with the population of Radiator Springs, insists that he attend the set of three races.
Mater and the pit crew, consisting of Luigi, (Tony Shalhoub), Guido, (Guido Quaroni), Sarge (Paul Dooley) and Filmore (Lloyd Sherr), set off to Japan for the first race.
Ex-oil tycoon Miles Axlerod, (Eddie Izzard) hosts the World Grand Prix. Axlerod introduces his new biofuel, Allinol and promotes it to the world.
Allinol must be used as the fuel in the races, even though it is not proven to be as effective as traditional fossil fuel.
Professor Zundapp (Eddie Izzard) and an unknown mastermind want to make sure Allinol is not a success. The movie begins at an offshore oil rig, with British spy Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) sneaking into a meeting between Zundapp and some other “lemon” cars: Gremlins, Pacers and Yugos.
They unveil a secret weapon that will disrupt the World Grand Prix races. To learn the identity of the mastermind behind the plot, McMissile must find an American spy who has the answer. When McMissile’s presence is discovered, he escapes the rig in true James Bond action-movie style.
The first race in Japan does not go well for Lightning and Mater is to blame. Lightning and Mater have a fight and Mater sets out to go home to Radiator Springs. But Mater is mistaken for an American spy by McMissile and his partner, Holly Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) and becomes involved in the spy chase.
Mater’s adventure as a spy becomes the highlight of the movie. He is outfitted with Gatling guns, a parachute, rocket boosters and a digital disguise device.
His new equipment has him doing things he never thought possible, including saving Lightning and solving the mystery.
Cars 2 is directed by John Lasseter, co-directed by Brad Lewis, Written by Ben Queen and produced by Denise Ream.
It is shown in Digital 3D and is rated G. Cars 2 is action packed and the animation is fantastic, especially those showing famous places from around the world. It is entertaining for the whole family.

--Ben Hanlon