Cars 3

***1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Cars 3
"It has a kick in its heel and a nice surprise at the end"

For some Cars was the first Pixar film to crash. For others it was Cars 2. Now that Pixar is part of the Disney monolith sequels mean dollars and so here they go again, racing round the track, round the track, round the...

You can resurrect, you can repeat, you can improve, you can employ one liner specialists, you can CG and I it, you can bring Owen Wilson back as the voice of Lightning McQueen, but in the end it's the story, stupid. Does it cut? Does it cut the mustard?

Copy picture

To be honest - why not for a change? - maybe.

What does that mean?

It means half way between groan street blues and yippedy-do-da! It means better than yawn and smarter than dread. It means these characters that have hung around since the start are like old friends now.

Lightning was the man - I mean, the car - at the end of 2. He's still on pole.

"I eat losers for breakfast"

That sounds like a White House tweet. Is this a United States of Great propaganda piece? God forbid!

"Ready to meet it, greet it and beat it?"

It gets better. Lightning has a rival, a new kid on the blocks, name of Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer on vocals), who is young, arrogant and fast. Things don't look good for the little guy. He joins a state-of-the-art team where he is expected to train and listen to stuff like "Do your exercises!" and have a personal coach, called Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), who turns out OK.

Despite language that curls your toes ("Use the negative to push through to the positive"), the plot is as simple as ABWhatever. Winning has a sell by date and denial is a mug's game.

"I decide when I'm done," Lightning says.

Oh, yeah? Watch and learn, baby.

You don't have to be a fan of Formula One, Two or Three to like this. It may come from a tried-and-failed pedigree, but there is something going on here, something about humility and loyalty and never giving up, or rather giving up with grace, or not, or what?

It has a kick in its heel and a nice surprise at the end.

Corn fed? Corn led? Who cares? Animation is the oil that lubricates happy.

Reviewed on: 08 Jul 2017
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Cars 3 packshot
Will Lightning McQueen retain pole position as the young bloods race to take him down? Has new technology made the old hometown garage a sentimental memory?

Director: Brian Fee

Writer: Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson, Mike Rich

Starring: voices of Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Armie Hammer, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Larry The Cable Guy, Ray Magliozzi, Tony Shalhoub, Bonnie Hunt, Lea DeLaria, Kerry Washington, Lewis Hamilton, Paul Newman, Cheech Marin

Year: 2017

Runtime: 109 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US

Festivals:

EIFF 2017

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