Starring: Corinne Orr, Sean Schemmel, Jean Richards
Director: Michael Schelp
Running Time: 81 mins
Car’s Life 2 is an American film and the sequel to A Car’s Life: Sparky’s Big Adventure. As Sparky grows more impatient of his father’s rules, he attempts to break out on his own, dodging all the rules of the road on what he hopes will be his path to success and freedom, however his actions soon have a big impact on the sanctity of the small town of El Coche.
Ratings this low are very, very hard to come by, and with Car’s Life 2 slotting in as the second worst film that I’ve ever had to sit through, I need to explain just how uniquely bad this film is.
From the outset, the animation tells you all that you need to know about the quality and effort put into this movie. I haven’t seen the first film, in which the animation is allegedly worse (somehow), but in the case of Car’s Life 2, the entire thing looks like those tedious cutscenes from kids’ video games during the late 90s, with no detail or attention taken to make its desert backgrounds stand out, or even make its characters look even slightly more convincing.
On the one hand, watching that animation is utterly hilarious, but there comes a point during the movie when you’re totally worn down by just how poor it all is. Unlike films where low production quality is perfectly explainable, such as Who Killed Captain Alex? and Plan 9 From Outer Space, Car’s Life 2 has the appearance of a film that could have been made better, but it just appears that director Michael Schelp and the rest of the crew couldn’t be bothered to do anything more, the beginning of what angered me while watching this.
What’s most impressive about this movie is just how many mood swings I experienced over the course of 80 unbelievably long minutes. At first, the terrible animation, combined with the awful dialogue and story, are hilarious to watch, with everything so poor and boring that it’s actually just funny. Then you reach a stage where everything’s just dull, which eventually blends into being annoying, then infuriating, then angering, and then just exhausting.
What’s most painful about it is the fact that everything not only moves at a snail’s pace, but is an absolute mess wherever you look. The story features three main threads, all of which are totally unconnected. One sees Sparky torn between his father’s petrol station and an evil car who sets up a new petrol station across the road. That’s at least coherent (even if it is stupid), but the subplots, including the random love affair of two cars on some side road that nobody cares about, as well as the occasional cut to a yellow car doing flips on a ramp in front of an evil turtle/tortoise with a dangerously maniacal laugh, make absolutely no sense, and feel like a complete waste of time, never coming to tie up with the main story.
The dialogue, too, is an absolute chore to sit through. Bad dialogue is always understandable when you’ve got an either inexperienced or simply untalented screenwriter, but I’ve never had to listen to dialogue quite like this. Characters will talk to each other in the most basic and slow way, as if you’re attending a kindergarten class for idiots, and then at the end of their conversations, the shot will linger on them staring awkwardly at one another as we fade into an unbelievably slow cross-dissolve transition, making every single scene more painful than the last as you sit through it again and again and again.
The characters themselves are stupid too. Much like any generic kids’ movie, the plot is predictable enough to see where all of the characters’ arcs will lead, but the characters in Car’s Life 2 aren’t only formulaic, but they’re idiotic and annoying, going round and round and round in circles and featuring next to no development until the screenplay decides to wrap everything up in a few seconds at the end.
Now, you may think that this is just a simple kids’ movie, and as such shouldn’t receive such heavy criticism, as it’s just there to entertain young viewers. The problem is, however, I don’t think it will entertain young viewers, as even 6 month old babies are intelligent enough to see through how dull this is, and will probably be bored out of their minds within half an hour of this atrocity starting.
What’s more is that the film isn’t quite as innocent as it appears at first, given that it’s a movie that was made to piggyback of the success of Pixar’s Cars movie franchise, with the first film released alongside the first Cars movie in 2006, and this released alongside Cars 2 in 2011. So, it’s actually a cheap cashgrab that’s not there for any other purpose, and has been churned out just to utilise another franchise’s success for its own gain.
That’s why I felt just as angry as I did bored by this movie. It’s quite amazing to see an 80-minute animated movie for kids evoke such a strong reaction, but I was really stunned by how I moved from seeing this as a hilariously dumb and boring movie to one that could genuinely frustrate and anger me with how bad it was.
And that’s why Car’s Life 2 receives the honour of a rating below 0, and a place as one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. I’m giving this monstrosity of a movie a -1.6 out of 10.