Length: 102 minutes / 1.70 hours
I’m usually a huge fan of Pixar films. However, I’m not wild about the Cars franchise. Something about these anthropomorphized vehicles is a little too cartoonish for me. Granted, the first movie in the series was the only film to make me care about the outcome of a NASCAR-type race. While the visuals are definitely improved in the 11 years since the original film came out, this end cap of the trilogy feels like a rehash of what worked before.
Distancing itself from the trilogy’s black sheep, Cars 2 (2011), this third part of the trilogy felt all too similar to the plot of Cars (2006). Sure, some of the roles were swapped around to show the “full circle” narrative from student to mentor. Still, ultimately it was about a car finding its racing mojo and utilizing well-known driving techniques to defeat its opponents. Ultimately, though, I don’t care for the main character. Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) has always felt a bit narcissistic in these movies, even if he eventually realizes how his fault affects others.
I will admit that I liked this entry in the trilogy because it minimized screen time dedicated to Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). Say what you will about the self-absorbed Lightning McQueen, but the redneck stereotype present in Mater is only played for cheap laughs. And yes, I understand these movies are meant for children, but sometimes the adults have to sit through them too. Additionally, it was nice to see more female representation, considering cars don’t actually have genders. Of course, considering how male-dominated anything car-related is, it might have fallen on deaf ears.
Same old plot with some notable improvements, I give Cars 3 3.5 stars out of 5.