After winning the Piston Cup four times, racing car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) decides to leave his home town of Radiator Springs to compete in the World Grand Prix.
Accompanied by best friend, pick-up truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), Lightning leaves for Japan to race in the competition, which has been staged to promote a new environmentally friendly fuel.
Meanwhile, a mysterious mastermind with a big stake in oil reserves is plotting to sabotage Miles Axelrod's (Eddie Izzard) 'green' biofuel company. As Lightning fights for victory on the track, hapless Mater gets caught up in the subterfuge when British secret agents Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) mistake him for a fellow spy.
Pixar head honcho John Lasseter returns to co-direct the sequel to his 2006 animation. Despite a lukewarm reception for their first outing, motor racing enthusiast Lasseter gives two stars of the original another run out, while bringing in the British contingent to voice some new additions.
Coming off the critical and commercial success of Toy Story 3, Pixar might be accused of being in cruise control with this latest effort. But even if the story doesn't hit top gear, the visuals are absolutely gorgeous and an average Pixar effort is still miles better than most family-oriented fare.