Pixar’s Cars 3, directed by Brian Fee is, technically, their strongest entry in the trilogy to date, but can the story go the distance or will it be left at the starting line?  

As with all Pixar films, Cars 3 was preceded by a short film, in this case entitled Lou. Lou centres around a creature that lives in a lost and found box in a preschool playground and its fight against a school bully. This is one of, if not the best, Pixar shorts released for some years. The simplicity and heart warming nature of this 7 minute story is to be applauded, evoking emotions which you would expect from a full length animation. It immerses you in the world so fast that you will feel like a kid again, what ever age you are, and acts as a perfect opener to the feature film.

Cars 3 was a film many people thought would never see the light of day thanks to the failure Cars 2. I am happy to report that Pixar looks like it wants to forget that sequel ever happened as much as the audience does, with Cars 3 picking up not to long after the events of the first Cars film. We see our protagonist, now a veteran of the sport, winning race after race with no effort at all – that is until rookie Jackson Storm comes out of nowhere to take the crown. This signals what seems to be the beginning of the end for McQueen’s career. The racing segments in the film are by far the strongest parts, much like they were in the previous entries in the series. From start to finish this element of the film is exciting and nerve racking for any age of film goer. Cars 3 feels so believable that many children (and parents!) were clapping and cheering for Lightning – particularly in the final race.

However, beyond the races and a few obscure film references, there isn’t much to enjoy here. The voice acting feels distant, much like the actors aren’t interested in the story themselves. During the middle of the film, the story drops off and leaves the audience waiting for the next race to appear as the trope of Mater, McQueen’s best friend, accidentally helping the story limp along is worn out by the third film.

Pixar have to be praised on one of the most visually stunning films that they have created so far. During the down time in the middle of the film, the stunning scenery and lifelike locations kept the film watchable. After the incredible visuals from Finding Dory last year, you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that there wouldn’t be much of an improvement yet they still prove that they are the best animation studio going. Cars 3 is a mediocre end to a trilogy that started strong and went downhill from there. Charting the story of Lightning McQueen’s change from a rookie to a veteran racer has been enjoyable however let down by two sequels that never matched the originality of the first film. If you are thinking about taking your children to see Cars 3 then they should enjoy seeing their favourite characters back on the big screen again, but be aware that, unlike most Pixar films, there is not much to enjoy for the adults.

Cars 3 is currently being shown at Showcase Cinema De Lux and will be at Phoenix Cinema from 28th – 31st July.

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A film student currently studying at De Montfort University. Particularly interested in the New Hollywood era and the films of Martin Scorsese. Film has always been a passion of mine and finally being able to share that with others through reviews and articles is excellent.

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