Lightening McQueen is back as he attempts to prove he still has it when a group of sleeker, faster and more arrogant rookies arrive on the scene.
The Cars franchise hasn’t always been the strongest in the Pixar universe. The films are great for toys and merchandising, but story wise there has always been a bit left on the table. Cars 3 doesn’t fudge from that formula. While it’s a great attempt at rectifying the stumble of Cars 2, you know very quickly the direction of the story and where everything will end up.
In the film, McQueen is facing what all athletes face – when is enough, enough? When do you hang your hat up and call it a career? When do you say goodbye and officially retire?
Very cliché moments aside, Cars 3 is a very fun, very family film with teachable moments throughout. Brian Fee does a solid job in his directorial debut, successfully offering up power visuals and characters that you can connect with.
Per usual the voice actors are fantastic. For the third time Owen Wilson does a magnificent job with the lead role of Lightening McQueen. Also returning from the previous films is Larry the Cable Guy (Mater), Bonnie Hunt (Sally) and Tony Shalboub (Luigi). Though notable newcomers like Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion and Kerry Washington lend their voices to a new crop of characters, it is ultimately the work of Armie Hammer as McQueen’s new nemeses, rookie Jackson Storm, that resonates most with the audience.
The film is, in many ways, returning to where it all started. While the original film focuses on the late, great Paul Newman’s Doc Hudson as he teaches and pushes McQueen to be a better racer, this time around it is McQueen who embodies the role of teacher. And if McQueen is the new Doc, then Cristela Alonzo’s Cruz Ramirez would be the next McQueen. The journey that we go on in Cars 3 is as much hers as it is McQueen’s.
Overall Cars 3 is a really good film that offers up morals and life lessons that will be enjoyed by the entire family. Though Pixar is known for creating films that appeal to both adults and kids, this one is decidedly more for the youngsters in the audience – and there is nothing wrong with that.