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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Rob Reviews "Cars 3"

It is always a strange thing when I can skip a film or series of episodes in a series and not be upset or lost when I pick it back up. Soap operas seem to be a classic example of this, which may be a contributing factor to their longevity. Going into “Cars 3,” I was told by multiple people that I should not have any issues for never having watched “Cars 2,” which I was also warned against. I was also a bit of a passive fan of the first film, so I approached the third part with a bit of complacency.

This time around, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) finds himself in a very precarious position as a new generation of racers make the Piston Cup Series a lot more technical and a lot faster paced. McQueen is struggling to keep up and winds up crashing out, spending his offseason in hiding as speculation runs rampant as to his future in racing. As he has a new owner in the picture named Sterling (Nathan Fillion), Lightning tries to adapt to the new electronic age with the assistance with his trainer, Cruz (Cristela Alonzo), but he realizes that it is going to take everything he has and some help from some old friends to defeat the new generation of racers, led by Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer).

Following another great short called “Leo,” Brian Fee does a great job here working some threads from the first film into this one with the gang from Radiator Springs, adding some new characters to make the story even richer. There was some concern after the first teaser that this film may be too dark for the younger set, especially given the nature of the crash that sets events into motion, but the children in the screening that we attended were of all different ages and were able to get through the more intense sequences well. On most levels, I enjoyed “Cars 3” even more than I enjoyed the original as it appeals to people that are and are not race fans alike. The themes here of empowerment, mentoring, and believing in yourself are universal themes that are told to audiences of all levels and ages with great entertainment value. Seeing this film in 3-D also sharpened the images even more for me, as it tends to do for most CGI-oriented films.

Pixar Studios has an incredible consistency when delivering quality family entertainment, and even though there are misses here and there, they are a safe bet to be a good investment for your family dollar. With summer in full swing, “Cars 3” keeps the hit streak up and running for the studio, so make sure to check it out with the entire family!

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