Cars 2: Mater’s Revenge

Cars 2 Trailer

Saw Cars 2 with my family on Friday. I know you are all very interested in my critical opinion of this highly-anticipated sequel.

It was a fun movie.

How’s that for cogency?

My only criticism is that the movie probably should have been called “Tow Truck,” because the storyline mainly focused on the character, Tow Mater. Not that I’m complaining. I mean, who can ever get enough of Larry the Cable Guy? (We now pause for you to wonder whether or not that last statement was genuine or complete and utter sarcasm………..).

One of the things I love about the Cars concept is that often in my life I’ve been guilty of anthropomorthism when it comes to vehicles. The front of a car looks like a face. Especially when it’s dark out. If you’re on a deserted road late at night, a car coming up behind you can look particularly evil if you let your imagination get the best of you. Unless it’s a Beetle. Those things are just adorable, no matter what time of day it is.

(Suddenly I feel as though I may be the only one who thinks this way. But I can’t be, right? At least the folks at Pixar are with me.)

Anyway, the thing that spoke to me in the film was Mater’s insistence that the dents in his body not be fixed or touched up for any reason. He refused to allow them to be repaired. For him, they were markers. Reminders that life is real. That even though it may have hurt at the time, and despite what they do to his appearance, the experiences he had when he got those bumps and scrapes made him feel alive. They were trophies of a life of adventures. All you have to do to avoid dents and scrapes is never leave the garage.

How’s that for really getting inside the mind of an animated redneck tow truck?

You’re welcome.

I have a 2007 Toyota Camry with 130-something-thousand miles on it. Somewhere about a year in, I got a dent in my trunk. I hated that thing. There was nothing I wanted more (when it came to that car) than to have that dent fixed. But I couldn’t afford it. So it stayed there. For about three years. I think the thing that bothered me about it was that I had no idea how it got there. I don’t really even remember when it showed up the first time. One day, it was just there.

If I had been aware of how it came to be, maybe it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. Ya know, chalk it up to the car-owning experience. But it was a mystery to me. There was no memory to go with the bruise. No adventure lived. No lesson learned. It was a waste.

I’ve acquired some other dents and scrapes over the years. And I’m not talking about the Camry. These are imperfections that I’m fully aware of. I know exactly when and how they came to be. And you know what? I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They represent adventures lived, mistakes made and learned from, memories of love lost or squandered. They remind me that I’ve been alive.

And without them, I wouldn’t be the kind of car, er, person I am today.

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