Director: Brian Fee.
Writers: Robert L. Baird and Dan Gerson.
Producer: Kevin Reher.
Composer: Randy Newman.
Production Company: Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures.
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures.
U.S. release date: June 16, 2017.
Running time: 1h42.
World gross: Unknown.
U.S. gross: Unknown.
Lightning McQueen has become a racing veteran. Overwhelmed by the new techniques that have taken over the motorsport industry, he receives the help of Hispanic Racing Trainer Cruz Ramirez in order to win the upcoming Florida 500.
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Lightning McQueen : Owen Wilson.
Jackson Storm : Armie Hammer.
Cruz Ramirez : Cristela Alonzo.
Martin : Larry the Cable Guy.
Sally Carrera : Bonnie Hunt.
Luigi : Tony Shalhoub.
Guido : Guido Quaroni.
Smokey : Chris Cooper.
Fillmore : Lloyd Sherr.
Sheriff : Michael Wallis.
Sergent : Paul Dooley.
Chick Hicks : Bob Peterson.
Natalie Certain : Kerry Washington.
Sterling : Nathan Fillion.
Miss Fritter : Lea DeLaria.
During the 2014 Annual Disney Shareholder event, Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, officially announced a sequel to the movies Cars and Cars 2 was being made. The story was said to take place around Route 99.
Our review of Cars 3.
A few years after leaving McQueen and Mater in Cars 2 with a mixed view of the sequel, we now return to Radiator Springs to discover what has happened to our beloved heroes. Will Cars 3 manage to reach the magnificent standard of Toy Story 3?
Whilst Cars 2 had placed McQueen in the background in favour of Mater’s character, Cars 3 focuses once again on the franchise’s star racecar. Except that this time, everything has changed. For starters, no reference is ever made to Cars 2, it is as though the movie never existed. Secondly, all characters just serve as extras, be it Radiator Springs residents or new characters. Only two of them uphold the alloy wheels that make up the movie: Cruz and Lightning. McQueen is no longer the best driver; he is being superseded by a new generation of pilots, one of whom is Jackson Storm. All in all, we hereby have a movie that mirrors Cars: McQueen has aged, become more subdued, and has become Doc Hudson’s counterpart in the automobile world: a has-been. The writers have successfully managed to offer us a new side to McQueen, who is less self-centred than he was in Cars, less of a “funny best friend” as he was in Cars 2. He starts experiencing doubt, regrets, suddenly sees himself years earlier and wants to make his final true come true. All throughout the movie, his emotions are crafted and bring us even closer to McQueen. The movie furthermore reflects the present world: technological youth pitted against senior experience. Who can emerge victorious? Once again, the story offers two levels of interpretation.
This story is in fact much deeper and far more emotional. During the entire length of the movie, another character lingers: Doc Hudson. And this is where Pixar tugs at our heartstrings. After dealing with the issues of coming of age (Toy Story 3), bereavement (Up), the studios featuring the hopping desk lamp have chosen to tackle a new theme: how to pay tribute to someone you hold dear and who has left this world. McQueen has never been as endearing as he strives to do his mentor honor. The more the film progresses, the stronger are the emotions. Will he succeed? And not in winning, victory is not necessarily what the viewer wishes for. But you want him to be Doc’s worthy heir. The latter in fact appears several times throughout the film. As for the final half-hour, you may feel a lump in your throat, for if you have lost someone you loved, you understand how McQueen feels.
McQueen has therefore changed, and this is also thanks to a new string of characters he gets to interact with. Cruz represents youth and supports McQueen whom she admires, but she also has a great need to fulfill her own dream while being made fun of by others. Smokey embodies experience and the passing-down of knowledge. He in fact offers us a beautiful scene when he mentions Doc to Lightning, thus enabling us to discover a small part of what happened between Cars and Cars 2. As for Jackson Storm, he is the new McQueen: full of himself, wanting to win every race and even forgetting to form ties with others. Yet he does not actually appear more than ten minutes in the feature. He is not even an antagonist. It is more McQueen’s personal quest that could cause his downfall. The other secondary characters are anecdotal.
Cars 3 brings together all generations and will enable viewers to see another person’s perspective: “young people”, often highly connected and fond of new technology, get to learn from their “elders” and their experience, while the latter see in the former a means to continue their legacy. Cruz precisely connects these two generations.
As the years pass, the studios featuring the hopping desk lamp are evermore in full control of their features’ visual aspect. With Cars 3, viewers are immersed more than ever in the world the artists have designed. Yet one must admit that the scenery remains “classical” and that you are no longer blown away as in previous films. But in any case, the movie’s strength is in its storyline; that is where the viewer gets blown away!
Cars and Cars 2 were supported by soundtracks that featured many songs. This is once again the case. Except that this time, the songs are less rousing or immersive. On the other hand, what a pleasure it is to hear the well-known songs of the first instalment during key scenes!
Pixar Animation Studios have always said they grant their films sequels provided the story is good. While Cars 2 was a disappointment to many people, the storyline of Cars 3 is not just good, it is magnificent. The emotional wave thatercame us all with Toy Story 3 is back. Everything is designed to bring a sense of closure to the trilogy as we shed tears and create lots of memories to cherish. Indeed, the way the movie ends, it is hard to want another sequel. Viewers will just want to keep these images in mind and come up with their own vision of the heroes’ future.
And Doc Hudson himself would be mighty proud and give a huge “yeehaa” if if he could comment this film!