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Cars 3 Movie Review

Reviewed by on Jun 14, 2017
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld caught an early screening of Cars 3. Are these talking autos as charming as ever? Is the new film as entertaining as the first one? Check our movie review.

By: Lynn Barker

In Cars 3, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is losing race after race to Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) part of a new generation of very high tech racers. Other older racers are retiring since they see no future for them. Lightning thinks of calling it quits as well after he survives an awful crash. His sponsor Rust-eze is bought by Sterling (Nathan Fillion) who wants him to retire and become a brand name that Sterling can profit from. Can Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) a feisty Latina trainer with her own racing dreams help turn Lightning back into a winner?

Cruz and Lightning find SmokeyCruz and Lightning find SmokeyCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

The Rookie

Famous champion racer Lightning McQueen starts losing races when Jackson Storm, a very slick, high tech, faster model starts winning. Storm is part of the “Next Gen” racers; cars built for amazing speeds few can meet. Even with encouragement from his old buddies like Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) and memories of advice from Doc Hudson (Paul Newman) his mentor, Lightning seems to have lost heart. When he survives a bad crash, Lightning recovers but broods in his garage alone back in Radiator Springs.

Tow Mater is Lightning's biggest fanTow Mater is Lightning's biggest fanCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Cheerleader Sally

Lightning’s girlfriend Sally (Bonnie Hunt) tells him he’s not washed up until he decides he is. He should get back in the race! Lightning decides he needs to train like Storm does and goes to a new, state of the art facility built by Sterling, the new owner of his former sponsor’s company Rust-eze. There he meets Cruz Ramirez, a female trainer who kicks butt but creates winners. She treats him like a senior citizen and Lightning hates it.

Lighting meets new sponsor SterlingLighting meets new sponsor SterlingCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Stop Racing?

Sterling decides that Lightning just can’t cut it against the new cars and wants him to retire and just be a brand name. Lightning makes a deal, He will enter one last race in Florida. If he wins, he keeps racing. If not, he’ll do what Sterling wants. Cruz helps Lightning train and he remembers what Doc Hudson always told him… he doesn’t have to be faster, just smarter.

Practice racing with Cruz on the beachPractice racing with Cruz on the beachCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Cruz knows Lightning isn't ready for the simulatorCruz knows Lightning isn't ready for the simulatorCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Demo Derby

Trying to practice at a real track, Lightning and Cruz end up surviving a demolition derby that lets Lightning know that Cruz has a racers heart… and talent but he’s wasted time and didn’t train as he wished and will now have to start last in the big race. He blames Cruz who lets him know she gave up on her own racing dreams which Lightning inspired in her when she was a kid. The two reconcile and go looking for Smokey, the car who trained Doc Hudson. They find him and other winning old timers and learn more about Doc’s methods. Lightning learns just how proud of  him Doc was.

Stuck in mud at the Demo DerbyStuck in mud at the Demo DerbyCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

The Race

Remembering some of Doc’s tricks like a certain brand of Tokyo drifting and “drafting” behind a fast car to gain speed, Lightning does pretty well in the big race but doesn’t think he can win. Remembering how much Cruz wants to race and how good she is, he leaves the race and puts her in for the second half representing his team.  Will she win? Will Lightning keep racing but also coach his new protégé, female racer Cruz?

Lightning vs. Storm on the trackLightning vs. Storm on the trackCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Wrapping Up

Like Rocky III, Cars 3 is about champions of a certain age learning that, although they may still have “it”, being a mentor to a younger talent might offer a satisfying future. The film centers on mentorship, mutual support and is quite female empowering as well, all presented with a very engaging and fast-paced animation style that is very modern and slick.

Lightning chases Cruz on a practice trackLightning chases Cruz on a practice trackCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Yes, the end is set up early and is predictable but the heart we loved in the first Cars movie is back along with many of the most loved characters. It’s great that the filmmakers saved voice tracks from the late Paul Newman who played Doc Hudson and they resurrect them here as the old mentor gives Lightning guidance and advice. Hey, the older generation might still be worth listening to and maybe, they just might have a better way of doing things from time to time.

Storm teases Lightning at a press conferenceStorm teases Lightning at a press conferenceCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Jokes aren’t hilarious but are sweet and cute and there is the usual adorable short film accompanying the movie. Lou centers around a school bully and a box of playground lost and found items that come to life to teach him a lesson. More Pixar magic.  We can go four stars on Cars 3.

Cars 3 Movie Rating:4

Cars 3 Movie PosterCars 3 PosterCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

See Cars 3 in theaters now!


Have Your Say

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