Friday, 14 July 2017

Review: Cars 3

Cars 3 (2D)
Cert: U / 109 mins / Dir. Brian Fee / Trailer

So the school Summer holidays are imminent, which means it must be time for a Pixar movie. Last year saw an time-passingly entertaining, if thoroughly unwarranted, sequel entry being released into the water, whereas 2017 brings us… yeah, you guessed it. Same*1.

Cars 3, arriving six years after its forebear and eleven years after its originator*2, follows the story of Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson), a hotrod-red racing car who's beginning to realise he's past him prime as young up-and-coming contenders leave him crossing the finish-line in their wake. We meet old favourites from the previous movies, plus a slew of new characters, all animated and voiced in the inimitable Pixar style.

Nothing short of exquisitely animated (and I love that the sets and backdrops are now essentially photo-realistic), it's enthusiastically voiced and fairly solidly constructed for a target-audience of younger viewers. But ultimately, the whole thing is uninspiring, coming across as little more than a loosely-connected series of fast-cut track races. For a full on Disney/Pixar production, you know this should be more engaging on an emotional level. If anything, the most interesting thing about the film is how uninteresting a film which had seven writers can turn out to be. It's also a Disney movie which manages to have a tongue-in-cheek dig at saturation-merchandising, which is either very meta, or blissfully non-self-aware.

By no means Disney/Pixar's A-game, Cars 3 will keep your youngsters entertained for the duration of its run-time, at least. As a tale of mentoring, motivation and the inevitability and acceptance of ageing set in the sun-scorched desert, it's a bit like Logan for the under-10s.

Albeit with less claret. Obviously.

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
Cars. Cars 2.

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
Not unless your padawans are dragging you there.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Keep the franchise ticking over in a low-gear? Yes.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 1: This film's got the voice of Major Derlin in it.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Although in defence of what I'm about to say in the rest of this review, beforehand I witnessed trailers for The Emoji Movie, The Nut Job 2, The My Little Pony Movie and a CGI thing where James Corden voices Peter Rabbit, all of which look fucking dreadful, so at least I wasn't sitting through one of those. [ BACK ]

*2 In all fairness, 2013 and 2014 took a detour and brought us an unwarranted spinoff and its own unwarranted sequel, respectively. [ BACK ]

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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