Chad Reviews "Cars 3"
When Pixar first took the world by storm, the general consensus was that if you wanted a guaranteed animated hit, they were Disney’s go-to. Cranking out a string of unprecedented successes each more critically and commercially more successful than the last, Pixar could simply do no wrong. As the CGI studio turned twenty, Pixar released “Cars”, a film that, while still commercially successful, seemed to lack a lot of the shine, warmth, and polish from usually so prevalent in their previous films. Five years later, they would re-visit the characters form “Cars” with “Cars 2”, this time making the misfit character of Tow Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) the focal point of the story of espionage, completely watering down the elements that made the first film just slightly charming in the first place by removing the bulk of nostalgia and warmth and replacing it with a focus on an already annoying character that was only tolerable in limited doses. So now, we’re preparing for a fresh lap around the tracks with “Cars 3”.
Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) finds himself in the thick of the hunt for another Piston Cup Championship run, but quickly realizes he’s being outgunned, outmaneuvered, and outclassed by the new generation of technologically advanced race cars, led by cocky newcomer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). After suffering a horrific crash, he realizes he’s approaching the twilight of his career and possibility of becoming an afterthought as the current crop of rookies. Refusing to give up and training with a new sponsor Sterling (Nathan Fillion) and an adoring fan for a lead technician in Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), McQueen risks it all for one last shot at redemption.
As bad of an impression as the previous film in this series made on me (almost putting me off of it for good) this latest installment did a lot to bring me back around. After Pixar’s flawless track record suffered a couple of dings, they have rebounded by not being afraid of taking a few risks now and then or admitting they’ve made a mistake and trying to make things right. “Cars 3” brings back that feeling of warmth I got the first time it pulled into Radiator Springs and reminded me of those long family road trips we took when I were a kid. Although it does tend to drag a bit in the first half, the pace picks up and quickly draws you in. It’s not the pinnacle of storytelling and doesn’t necessarily break any new ground, but it’s worth the time spent in the theatre on a Saturday afternoon.