Everyone knows that Pixar’s Cars series is basically a prostitute of the highest order. It is an unashamed sell out whore in all of the Disney company. These films are made specifically to cash in on the toy market. Little kids love the damn Cars toys more than they do the actual movies. And this wouldn’t really matter, if the Cars films were actually any good (the first one kind of is, the second one is abysmal trash). And so we are given a Cars 3, before we even get an Incredibles 2, which is bullshit. And while Cars 3 is a lot better than the STD infested Cars 2, it is so utterly predictable and filled with recycled plot points, twists, and storytelling devices, that if you take your kids to see it, you might want to use protection.
I don’t think Disney will appreciate that I’m comparing their Cars series to disease infested prostitutes but I don’t think anyone at Disney will ever read this review. Let me give you a brief insight one why the first and second Cars movie don’t really work. The first Cars movie is a personality redemption story that had been done too many times before it. Ego-driven person/place/thing ends up as a fish out of water at a place they’ve never been too and redeems his/her/itself by the end of the film and everyone/everything involved comes out the better. The voice talent, effects, and some of the emotion saved that film from being complete drivel, into something halfway decently watchable. The 2nd film made the mistake of taking it’s focus from character Lightnin’ McQueen and instead shifted it to the more annoying Tow Mater, the Jar Jar Binks of Pixar. And the fact that it tried to move that character into a stupid predictable recycled spy storytelling plot was even more ludicrous and lame.
So now we come to the third Cars movie, and while it does right by the switching the focus back to Lightin’ McQueen, it films acts like it is really Cars 4 or 5, recycling the “I’m so old story but I can still make a comeback/be kickass” plots we have gotten from Indy 4, Rocky Balboa and Creed, Live Free or Die Hard, basically any movie franchise well past the third movie where the actor/actress has gotten old and have to prove themselves. And by doing that, everything about Cars 3 is predictable. EVERYTHING. The movie starts out by this new race car name Jackson Storm winning the races over McQueen, and McQueen gets so frustrated by this he tries too hard one race and ends up crashing pretty badly. He then wants to use the non-racing season to get back to what he once was and even better, just to beat Jackson Storm. See where this is going? Even Jackson Storm and other racers start to use the “new technology” storytelling angle to be better racers, while McQueen prefers the old school, analog way. The only really exciting scene in the movie is where Lightin’ McQueen and his new trainer Cruz go to this Demolition Derby (shhhh, they don’t know it’s that, they think it’s a regular race) and compete not to get smashed.
If you don’t see the ending coming, then you don’t go to enough movies. Going down this road and being this predictable doesn’t make the film not watchable, because it is, but it makes it kind of lame and not really all that exciting. Which for a Pixar film, is a crime. The only other Pixar films that are in league with the Cars films for being okay and not that great are probably Monsters University and The Good Dinosaur. Both of those combined with the Cars films are definitely on the very bottom of the Pixar greatness totem pole.
The effects are good and the voice acting is solid, and I like the way they basically made Tow Mater’s role in this akin to Jar Jar Binks in Attack of the Clones, but none of that is enough to sustain this film. We need more original Pixar films (thankfully one called COCO comes out this fall). We don’t need Toy Story 4, or a third Finding Dory, and depending on the quality of Incredibles 2, we might not need that either. What happened to great story ideas like Inside Out? That film is a masterpiece and isn’t a sequel? Can’t we just keep doing original content and go back to doing what Disney did in the 90s and if there is a sequel make it inside different animation studio owned by Disney and make it direct-to-video (thank God they did that with Planes)?
Disney/PIXAR, if anyone is reading this, please for the love of God don’t make a Cars 4. I’m tired of these non-original entries from your company. John Lassiter needs to go away and you need to hire new writers and directors with fresh ideas. We need great films from you again like Inside Out, Wall-E, Ratatouille, Up, and so on. Stop making these films just because you are killing it in the toy market. Parents, stop buying your kids Cars toys so we stop getting this mediocre schlock from Pixar! Buy them Hot Wheels (which are better toys) instead. If we keep going down the same road, we are going to get the same results. Time to take a detour.