Review – Cars (2006)

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cars-56d741966db9bSometimes I surprise myself when I learn there is a movie I haven’t reviewed yet, and Pixar’s Cars is one of them. Now, this movie came out the year I graduated High School, so kids movies weren’t completely at the top of my to-watch list, but being a Pixar movie, I gave it a shot. Truthfully, I enjoyed the movie for what it was, but I also know Cars 2 is the exact moment that Pixar stopped being great all the time, and started coming out with some mediocre films….don’t even get me started on Planes. Cars isn’t too bad, though. Even after watching it recently, I still can’t really say anything too bad about it, since I still consider it mostly solid.

Cars is about a race car named Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), who’s ego is pretty high on the ego scale. When he gets lost in a small town, he is forced to stay there and help them rebuild the town that he destroyed upon entering. While there, his main goal is to return to the biggest race of all time, but the town helps to remind him about the things that matter and don’t matter in life, and most importantly, respect.

This film mostly holds up from memory, but I also discovered that it’s ratio between kids entertainment and if their accompanying adults can enjoy it as much, I’d have to say it’s more kids movie than anything. Adults might not get super interested in the things that are going on, and that’s too bad because most kids movies these days have things that everyone can enjoy.  If anything, I would say that’s the main problem that you notice from first impressions, but overall, it’s a decent movie.

So that’s the first impression, what happens when we break this sucker down? Time to find out. It’s nitty-gritty time!

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PEOPLE SCORE – 10/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2

Okay, so let’s first talk about the people category, which obviously received perfect scoring. I believe when it comes to animation, you need good acting in order for characters to become memorable, and the characters in Cars are indeed extremely memorable. So, I do consider the acting and characters to be perfect. Now, I believe a few of the acting choices in this film are actually brilliant, and so I don’t think anyone else should have been cast in this one. Everyone has their own role to play that adds to the plot, and everyone works together extremely well. So yes, the people category received a perfect score.

WRITING SCORE – 9/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 2|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2

Next, we have the writing category, which almost got a perfect score. The only thing that didn’t stick out for me was the dialogue in the film, which was mostly just typical stuff you’d expect out of a kids movie like this. That being said, I consider it a very solid, balanced story that you can understand from beginning to end. The story talks about respect, humility, and integrity, as well as family and friendship. I do consider it highly original and interesting.

BTS SCORE – 8/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1

Okay, when it comes to the behind-the-scenes category, we have another nearly perfect score. Nothing really stood out in either the directing or music choice. Some of the music was fun, I’ll give it that, but nothing I’d buy a soundtrack over. The visuals were very good, as was the editing. As for the advertisement, I believe it was as-advertised. So, there was no false advertising or anything. That is why the BTS score is an 8.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 1

Another nearly perfect score for the narrative arc category, but that’s not super surprising. This is a kids movie, so those are pretty plain when it comes to the narrative structure. You are introduced to Lightning McQueen when the film opens up, who he is and his passion. The inciting incident is when he gets lost in the small town. The obstacles really come down to McQueen first trying to escape the town, then it comes down to learning more about himself and the town he’s in. The climax was perfectly climactic, but the falling action was short and not focused on enough.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 5/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience IN – 2

We have a mixed score for the entertainment category. This is because I don’t really consider it a movie I would buy and I have no need to talk to anyone about it. Other than that, I consider it a rewatchable movie, but much later down the road, since I have no need to see it again anytime soon. That being said, it is a fun movie that sucks people in. So, there’s that.

TOTAL SPECIAL – 40/50
Kids/Family – 5|Liam test – 5|Moral – 10|Pixar – 10|Still holds up – 10

As for the five questions I asked before seeing this film is one – does it still hold up after all these years? Yes, it does. On the kids-family range, where does this sit? Well, like I said earlier, it’s much more of a kids film than something adults can enjoy as well, but at the same time, I highly doubt adults would hate it, either. The Liam test comes down to how engrossed my 2-year-old was when watching it, and he watched about half of the movie but wasn’t super invested after that. Does it have a good moral to the story, being a kids movie? Yes, like I mentioned above, family, friends, integrity, humility, all that fun stuff. As far as it goes – what about being a Pixar film? When people ask me about Pixar, would I bring this up? I would mostly say yes to this, but it wouldn’t be the first thing that I say…if that counts for anything.

Rating – 81/100

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