Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Cars 3 is directed by Brian Fee, and it features the voice talents of Owen Wilson, Armie Hammer, Cristela Alonzo, and Nathan Fillion. This latest addition to the merchandising behemoth that is the Cars franchise takes the story back to its roots. Instead of continuing with the British spies of the series's second installment, this film explores an aging Lightning McQueen struggling to compete with a new generation of younger, faster racers.
Cars 3 is pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be from watching the trailers. It's just another film in the Cars universe. Thankfully, they ditched the over-complexity of the previous installment and returned to the simplicity of the original. Though the film equals the quality of the first film at times, it never really exceeds it. The first Cars film was entertaining enough, but the second one was way too much. Cars 3 is a decently enjoyable movie that, at its core, is made for kids. It does occasionally have surprisingly heartfelt messages for the adults in the audience as well.
First of all, it's important to note that this franchise is one that has been built for children. It's a little different from the rest of Pixar's films in that way. Most of Pixar's film are more kid-friendly instead of being kid-oriented (Up, Inside Out, Ratatouille, etc.). The Cars franchise is the exception to that. Cars 3 has the occasional glimmer of one of those great Pixar films, but as a whole, it's pretty good, not amazing.
The best thing about this film is the quality of the animation. Pixar has always been the best in the business as far as animation goes. However, that hasn't stopped them from consistently improving. The animation in this film at times is along the lines of The Good Dinosaur. It legitimately looks real at times. There are many shots and scenes throughout this film where it looked like someone had actually gone out and filmed with a camera, then animated these cars on top of it. Oddly enough, that excellent animation turned into a bit of a double-edged sword. Since the background animation was so realistic at times, it became painfully obvious how cartoony the cars looked. It's a strange thing, to be consistently annoyed by animation in an animated film, but that happened in Cars 3. The contrast of these cartoon vehicles on top of the photorealistic backgrounds became distracting, and it really takes you out of the atmosphere whenever you notice it. The great animation in the scenery accidentally highlighted the not-so-great in the cars, and as a result one of the best things about the film became one of the worst.
The voice work in the film was pretty well done. Owen Wilson as Lightning McQueen worked as well as he has in the past, though this time it wasn't blatantly his voice (which is good). The new additions to the cast were very welcome ones. The most notable additions came in the form of Armie Hammer as Jackson Storm, McQueen's new rival, Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez, a physical trainer with dreams of being a racer, and Nathan Fillion as Sterling, McQueen's new manager. They each played their roles really well. On a bit of a side note, I'd like to point out that Armie Hammer has slowly been building up a very admirable career for himself. Having now been in The Social Network, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., voiced a character in a Pixar film, and reportedly joining the DC Extended Universe soon, he's definitely someone to keep your eye on.
As a whole, Cars 3 is a decent addition to Pixar's catalog of films. It's definitely better than Cars 2, and it's on about the same level as the first. This film isn't made to be the best movie of the year, it's made to fund Pixar's future projects and give fans of the franchise a film they can enjoy. Cars 3 will definitely be a hit with followers of the series as it received a round of applause when the credits rolled in my theater. Pixar has by no means made an amazing film here, but it will undoubtedly be a fun movie for families to go see.
So what did you think of Cars 3? Do you want to see a Cars 4? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and other miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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