‘Cars 3’ (2017, 12A)

Is ‘Cars 3’ a wheel-spinning success or a bit of a car crash?

Despite his age, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is still at the top of his game and ruling the track. But then, when rookie Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) takes the racing world by surprise, smashing the competition, a new breed of racers come into the field — and the older cars are left to rot. Lightning will have to fight hard and train in new ways to try to defeat Jackson Storm.

Coming into ‘Cars 3’, I probably had far too high expectations. The first ‘Cars’ is one of my favourites; I understand now that it isn’t the most amazing film, but for me it has a special place in my heart. The second film, ‘Cars 2’, is, frankly, appalling and I’m glad that the plot of this third installment didn’t even acknowledge the existence of its predecessor.

That said, there was a lot going for the plot of this film. There was a really nice opening exposition which set the scene for the film nicely — ten minutes of cars rushing around the track with news interviews cut-in talking about the new ‘breed’ of racers coming into the track. It was stunning to watch. Then, it slowed down a bit and fell into the pit of children’s film predictability — until a beautiful twist at the end of the film put a smile on my face and reminded me that the writers at Pixar still had it.

Speaking of Pixar, they once again pull it out of the bag with their animation and visuals. It was a joy to watch and details from the water to the reflections in tinted windows and the music in this film also added to the effect — there weren’t so many country classics to dance to than in the first film, but the backing score was brilliant, especially with some cleverly used melodies from the first movie.

The main moral of this film is that old-fashioned hard-work will always beat technology, and, though this is a very strong and important message, for a company that prides itself on its links to the biggest technology innovator there is (Apple), Pixar has put a bit of backwards thinking into this. However, an alternate moral that could be gleamed from the plot that prefer is that skill beats power and using your brain over your brawn will always come up trumps.

Overall, ‘Cars 3’ is a strong instalment in the ‘Cars’ franchise and won’t disappoint anyone who, like me, probably over-hyped themselves for this film. That said, a slightly ambiguous plot in an otherwise amazing film warrants ‘Cars 3’ a nine-out-of-ten.



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