In a time where a majority of movie trailers show way too much, quality teaser trailers are on the rise. Some of the more recent standouts include the first trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Logan, Mad Max, and Cars 3. One of these is not like the other … we are all thinking the same thing but my reason is different than what you are thinking. The Cars 3 trailer was so striking because the lack of music and sense of dread that no one would expect from a kid friendly Pixar franchise that thrived solely because of the toy line.
The first Cars came out to mixed reviews (currently the third lowest rated Pixar movie), which was a new experience for Pixar since their movies were mostly very well rounded hits. Cars was seen as a fun movie that didnt carry the emotional impact most everyone came to expect … then Cars 2 came out to the worst reviews Pixar has yet to see. Following all of that, Cars 3 currently has the second lowest rating according to Rotten Tomatoes.
So how does it rate according to me? I would give it 4 “git ‘r dones” out of 10.
FOR THE UNITIATED
We catch up to Lighting McQueen (Owen Wilson) at the top of his game trading wins and pranks with a few friends … but surprisingly no one brings up his secret spy days from the prior movie. Then out of nowhere a rookie named Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) shows up and beats everyone with ease. Soon all of Lightning’s friends are retiring and replaced with newer faster models. During one of the final races of the season Lightning struggles to take the lead and ends up in a frighteningly graphic wreck. Gearing up for a return next season, he finds out Rusteze was sold to fund his training. The new company headed by Sterling (Nathan Fillian) sets him with a new trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) to help find his speed. Eventually Sterling tells Lightning that he will either win the first race or retire to act as a spokesperson.
The best part is when Lightning is trying to find his mojo / speed and goes to an old racetrack. After entering the race, he finds out the track was converted to a figure 8 and is now a demolition derby. Adding to the chaos, his trainer ends up in the race. Even further, they spray down the entire track to make it a mud pit. Lightning struggles to teach Cruz how to race on dirt all while doing their best to avoid the large champion intent on destroying the two pristine cars. It is a fun mixture of comedy, suspense, and chaos. This scene also ends up being one of the few that captures the fun of the first.
My biggest complaint is the story seemingly revolving around Doc Hudson who was originally voiced by Paul Newman. At first there were some flashblacks that I didn’t remember, but it has been quite sometime since I saw the first so I thought it was just my memory. Then some scenes happened and it was very obvious they were new. I didn’t think they all sounded like it was done by Paul Newman. After doing some research, I found out they recreated his lines … which could have been made unnecessary by having other characters talk about memories. In a day and age where more old actors are being brought back post mortum … it just seemed cheap.
Cars 3 is a good movie … it just seems a little worse considering it’s pedigree. This is a Pixar movie afterall! For whatever reason they can’t seem to pack the same level of emotion they do in other films. If you want to see a racing movie, have kids, or liked the others then go see the matinee. Otherwise you can wait for a cheaper option / free.
If you want a third movie that deals with a sport, then do yourself a favor and watch Rocky III. You get a much better movie of a champ on top of the world getting dethroned and having to go through a new training regiment to win the day. Not to mention, this is probably my favorite Rocky movie … much better than when he beats communism.
STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW!!
If you want a parallel, then merge Rocky III and IV and you get Cars 3.