Reviewed Mar 11, 2012
Leighton Trent’s review:
This seems like nothing more than a commercial sell, but the least they could have done was add an interesting and fun movie to go with it. I understand making the money, but c'mon Pixar, there's no excuse for this empty claptrap after so many good films. So much about what makes Pixar great is their mixture of good, strong stories along with an emotional connection to the audience. This film is devoid of both amidst a perplexing (for kids) and somewhat plodding plot, and feels soulless in the way so many pretty-looking summer family cashgrabs do. (At least the first one had the nostalgia of the old Americana going for it.) I think it all falls down to placing Towmater at the center of the franchise. He's the most asinine character Pixar's created; simply put on screen for cheap laughs, everything falls to shambles around him film-wise because he, at his heart, is a one-dimensional, stupid character. I don't know if this film is necessarily worse than the first, it certainly does feel that way (they've completely redesigned its look and feel), but the fact that they've done this world before (despite its expandedness), all the humor, all the gags, everything falls flat for, and the emotion is trite at best. They don't make it fresh.
I simply didn't have fun because Pixar decided it could bypass everything about what's made it so great for the sake of what it thinks is a cute and funny character voiced by Larry the Cable Guy. No dice. I'm not falling for that. It made me sad to see Pixar having sunk so low.