Saturday, June 24, 2017

[Review] Cars 3

Ah, Cars... Pixar's, uh, least-beloved franchise (although merchandising might say otherwise). It doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and I mean that in more ways than one. While the latest installment is better than Cars 2 (that's not saying much), it still doesn't exactly rejuvenate the series.

Cars 3 checks back in with Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson). He's a fading old-timer. Far past his prime. Nearing the end of his career on the racing circuit and getting torched by flashy and hi-tech newcomers like Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). Things take a jarring turn when McQueen crashes and burns. And well, you know what that means: It's time for a comeback story!! But in the form of a mentorship, training young dreamer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo).

Despite its sleek animation, endearing voicework, and accessible plot, the film comes off as thoroughly mediocre. All the racing sequences get overly repetitive, and frankly, they just aren't that engaging. This lacks humor, heart, and stakes, and when it faces off against similar racing stories with similar beats--like Ron Howard's live-action (and much better) Rush--it falls far behind.

The narrative comes down to someone (automobile or otherwise) trying to keep up with a world that is moving way faster than them. It's about adapting to change, breaking tradition, taking risks, and not getting stuck in the past. But ironically, the film itself does none of these things. It isn't new. It isn't fresh. And it isn't surprising. In fact, it's about as formulaic as it gets.

So as you can guess, I probably won't be racing to the theaters for Cars 4.

( 5.5/10 )

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