Reviewer Gavin Miller’s take on the sequel to Disney’s family friendly sequel...
Despite Disney turning this into a blatant cash-cow by blazing out a super-quick sequel to build on last year’s $220 million worldwide hit – this is surprisingly decent fare.
The House of Mouse polished the original film from its direct-to-video roots into a theatrical release – via the DisneyToon animation sub-division – and even though the sequel doesn’t have the Pixar production values, it does improve in pretty much every way from the first movie.
An impressive cast – which adds the likes of Oscar-nominee Ed Harris (Apollo 13), Modern Family’s Julie Bowen and The Last of the Mohicans’ Wes Studi – adds greater depth, with a more intriguing fire-fighting premise giving the movie wings when its predictable formulaic moments threaten to drag it down.
When now world-famous air racing champion Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) learns that he may never race again due to a damaged engine, he joins forces with helicopter Blade Ranger (Harris) and his team of all-terrain vehicles known as the Smokejumpers, to courageously battle a massive wildfire.
It won’t offer anything new to adult cinema-goers used to more enigmatic Disney/Pixar entries – despite a sprinkling of notable humorous moments – but is an above average passable diversion for the young ‘uns, that flies more than it splutters.
It’s comfortably better than The Nut Job for starters, and arguably better than Cars 2 – the world in which this second transportation-based franchise was inspired from.
Whatever next? A film called Trains? Yep, that’s up next from Disney . . . no kidding.