The Cars franchise is often deemed the worst Pixar has to offer. The first installment made a lot cash in the summer of 2006, but was deemed to simple and bland by the Pixar loyalists. More than anything the franchise seemed more concerned with getting toy Maters into every little boy’s hand rather than tell a unique and special story we had been accustomed to from Pixar. Things got even worse with Cars 2, which went heavy on the Mater and is considered the worst film from the innovative film company. It has been six years since that debacle, so it seemed like a good time for The Mouse and Pixar to dust off Lightning McQueen for a new generation of consumers. Cars 3 will surely move product, but can Pixar fix the mistakes of the past and prove Cars 3 is a worthy member of the Pixar Family?
The answer is yes……well kind of. You have to understand there was nowhere for Cars 3 to go, but up after Cars 2. The biggest thing Cars 3 does right is it gets back to basics with its story telling. No international espionage plots with Super Mater are happening this time around. Instead we got almost a Bizarro version of the first film with Lightning McQueen (Voiced by Owen Wilson) now as the beloved veteran being pushed out of the sport by a younger generation of faster cars just as cocky as he once was. After a major setback, McQueen must learn to adapt in this new world of racing or risk being forced into retirement.
Cars 3 is still a very simple rehashing of some of the same elements from the first film and is mostly meant for the little ones in the theater, but the movie does have its charm in certain moments. Seeing McQueen morph from hot-shot rookie to wise veteran is a nice change-up for the character preventing our hero from becoming stale. Also less Mater (Voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) is a big positive for Cars 3 with the character becoming way less obnoxious in small doses.
Also the film itself is sight to behold with Pixar creating landscapes and roads that look so real that you can smell the hot asphalt watching it in 3-D. The footage looked so real, it’s still amazing to think such beauty could be made on a computer. Cars 3 will never be considered as one of the great films in the Pixar library, but it is a film kids will enjoy and will make you smile from time to time even if the franchise is still primarily made to sell toys, book bags, shirts, sheets, lunch boxes……….you get the point.
Overall, Cars 3 earns the score of 2.75 out of 4 stars.
Read all of T.M.’s reviews HERE!