“Cars 3” is a movie filled with conflicting events and exciting outcomes. Eleven years after the release of the original “Cars” movie, and the first since the sequel in 2011, “Cars 3” is the only film in the series not directed by Pixar’s John Lasseter.
The characters return for another big race and new racers show up hoping to score a big win for the next generation. Veteran racer Lighting McQueen (voiced by Dallas’ own Owen Wilson) takes on high-tech racer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) and causes a crash. McQueen asks for help from his friends and new mentor Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) in an effort to win the race.
I was intrigued by writing and the relationship between Cruz, Lighting McQueen and Doc Hudson. In the first film, Hudson (aka the Fabulous Hudson Hornet) discovers the values of wisdom, faith, and friendship over generations in his role as McQueen’s mentor. In “Cars 3,” McQueen, as the elder racer, mentors Cruz Ramirez. Director and co-writer Brian Fee’s storyline makes Hudson a central character by explaining how McQueen’s instincts helped him beat the high-tech racers.
“Cars 3” is my favorite in the “Cars” series. Pixar did a great job with the storytelling. The writing and the direction is good throughout with nice pacing. The background music feels nostalgic. I enjoyed the cameo appearances by NASCAR drivers, including Richard Perry. I did, however, feel that the film lacked the charm of the original. The new racers took away from the established characters and what was important in their lives: racing in the old-fashioned way.
As a bonus, the Pixar short “Lou” was screened before the feature film. “Lou” is the story of a mysterious lost-and-found monster who wants to teach the bully a lesson. The short film was funny with an interesting storyline, like many other Pixar shorts.
GRADE: B+ (For "Lou": A+)