Cars 3 delivers the vibrant primary colours that you expect from this flagship Pixar title, and, after driving around for two thirds of the film in familiar territory, offers a delightful diversion the anticipated destination.
Lightning McQueen is at risk of redundancy at the hands of a new generation of high tech racers. Led by Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), these laboratory-trained vehicles use stats in a bid to surpass previous champions.
There’s a real parallel here to the professional sportspeople of the contemporary era, versus the more knockabout champions of yore.
Cars 3 tips it’s hat to the veteran racers of yesteryear wo pioneered women’s and civil rights with a visit to Thomasville, the home town of Smokey (voiced by Chris Cooper) who is the former mechanic and crew chief to Lightning’s mentor Doc Hudson (voiced by Paul Newman who appears in flashbacks that include previously unused recordings of Newman from the first film.)
Another positive development is the introduction of Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez,McQueen’s trainer and racing technician who always longed to be a racer and has a profound affect on McQueen as they work together to make him race ready.
An undercover visit to a rural racetrack goes awry in what is one of the best sequences of the film, as the gang visit Thunder Hollow raceway, without realising it is not a typical racing venue.
All in all this should delight the fans of the Cars franchise and will most likely appeal to the younger set of school holidays thrill seekers.
Our screening on a Friday afternoon had a handful of little people, and they were indeed a handful, shouting out and running around the theatre, but in a really comforting kind of way.
Let your kids know that the film is preceded (as always with a Pixar release) by a fabulous short called Lou, about a character that lives inside a primary school’s lost and found tub.
One little boy in front of us kept yelling out “This is the wrong movie! This isn’t Cars!”
You’re right little guy, but in a couple of years, the team behind Lou will be delivering hopefully the next Pixar classic.
As for Cars 3…?
3 & 1/2 Stars. “A Welcome Return To Form”