Jacob Bock ’18/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Cars 3 kinda sucks. It’s a largely unforgettable cliché of a sports comeback movie with a Pixar skin slapped on it. The plot refocuses on the original film’s protagonist, race car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) in his veteran years. This new race season new comer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) joins the roster, a supped up more technically advanced car that talks like a frat bro. He quickly proves his name sake and takes the track by storm, beating McQueen at every turn. Soon more modern models like Storm join the track and old timers retire left and right. Quickly, McQueen becomes the last of the Mohicans for his generation of racers and, in a last ditch effort to beat Storm, suffers a terrible crash. Lightning is pressured on all sides to retire. Hooking up with a new corporate sponsor, he starts his off-season training at a top-tier site where, apparently, newbies such as Jackson Storm tone up. There, he’s introduced to a plucky performance coach, a yellow car named Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo). Lightning frequently flashes back to the advice and companionship of his old mentor, Doc Hudson (voiced by the great Paul Newman in the first Cars movie in 2006, two years before his death, and who is again heard here). Acting on those memories, Lightning eventually persuades Cruz to get out and train with him, old-school style, at a nearby beach.
After this half way point of painfully slow plot, the film picks up the pace. As McQueen and Cruz embark on an old school training regimen that takes the two to the more beautifully agrestic parts of America. On their journey, Cruz reveals her thwarted ambition to be a racer, a dream she abandoned out of fear the first time she was told to take her shot. Along the way, McQueen becomes more of a mentor for Cruz, ending in a twist that’s easily predictable by all but the youngest viewers.
The film itself isn’t even too funny. During the press screening for this film, the theater was packed with kids and almost none laughed for the duration. The child behind me repeatedly asked his mother to take him home out of boredom. If this movie isn’t good enough for children under the age of eight, than it’s certainly not good enough for you. The only caveat is a fun scene where McQueen and Cruz participate in a demolition derby. Despite convincing voice acting and animation so good you’ll almost forget you’re watching an animated film, Cars 3 is neither funny nor entertaining. Besides its predecessor, this is the weakest Pixar film . Perhaps the film’s motif of retirement is a sign that Pixar should retire the Cars franchise. Maybe watch this movie on a streaming service if you really liked the other two films, but other than that, don’t even bother.
Overall Grade: C-
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