For me, it was always surprising that Pixar decided to make Cars 3, considering one of their worst films, according to a wide variety of reviews and articles, was Cars 2. Why risk making another disappointing sequel, especially to one of their arguably worst films? I’m not sure, but the trailers definitely intrigued me. The movie looked intense, both in visuals and in action. Whatever the case may be, it didn’t dissuade me from seeing the film. Alright, so how was the film? Let’s get into it, starting with the plot.
Lightning McQueen is happily winning all of his races until a new generation of high-tech racers are trained. They all zoom past McQueen, leaving him fading behind. Jackson Storm, a new-gen, wins four times in a row as McQueen pushes himself too hard and crashes. In order to get back on the race track, he needs training from a young racing technician at the Rust-eze Racing Center, Cruz Ramirez. Cruz and Smokey Yunick, the former engineer for the Fabulous Hudson Hornet, help McQueen best they can. With cheering from Mater, Luigi, Guido, and Sally, McQueen could possibly beat Storm in the Florida 500 by learning a few tricks from the history of the Fabulous Hudson Hornet. – IMDb
So, I think we can all agree that this film is better than Cars 2. However, that’s pretty easy to say. How it measures up to the first film, on the other hand, is a whole new ball park. I still say the first film is ultimately the best out of the bunch, but this really does come close. The graphics have improved magnificently, which is something that shouldn’t really come as a shock, but does nonetheless. That being said, I do have two main complaints. First of all, I think the trailers and advertisements were a little misleading when it came to tone. You expect something intense and possibly dark in some way, but really, that’s not what you get. The first scene, maybe, the rest of the movie is just as light-hearted and silly as the others. The other complaint I had about this film, which is probably the biggest complaint, is that I really don’t think kids will appreciate it. The thing it’s trying to convey is something about not being young forever and losing steam as life goes on, which isn’t something kids identify with. They have so much energy that won’t even make sense. I think it is more geared towards the kids who grew up with the first film. This way, they had a good final movie in the series and weren’t stuck with part two.
These are just my first impressions, though. Let’s go ahead and break down Cars 3 to interpret the stars.
Title – Cars 3
Year – 2017
Genres – Animation, Comedy, Family
Possible Awards – Sequels & Prequels, Visuals
PEOPLE SCORE – 8/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 2|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2
First up, we have the people category, starting off with the subcategory of acting. The acting was neither terrible or great, mostly typical and forgettable. These characters were diverse, unique, and most importantly, memorable. I think everyone did a fine job in the role, but that doesn’t mean they were the only actor for the job. Absolutely every character in this film seemingly had an important role adding to the direction of the plot, I was impressed. They had a reason, they had a purpose, they had a history, and I love it. Everyone in this film really worked well together. Their chemistry was off the charts.
WRITING SCORE – 9/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 2|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2
Next up, we have the writing category, starting off with the dialogue subcategory…which was as unremarkable and forgettable as the meal you had last Tuesday afternoon. I would certainly say that the film is very well-balanced and consistently holds a strong focus on the story at hand. When it comes to the story, this film knows what it’s doing. Not only is the story alone interesting, but it sticks with you because it has meaning and purpose. In my opinion, I also think this film feels fresh and pretty darn original. Was this movie interesting? Of course it was, don’t be silly. I was all-in for this one.
BTS SCORE – 8/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 2|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
Next up, we’re taking a look behind-the-scenes, starting with the visuals, and the visuals were pretty darn great here. Somebody knew what they were doing. The director actually did a really good job here. Completely based off of what they did, the movie looks and feels great and authentic on a different level. Well done! Nothing challenging or difficult in the editor’s desk, folks. They stitched the movie together just fine, but there’s nothing else to report here because even a kid could probably do it. As with most films, I consider this film to be mostly as advertised, which is good. They could’ve done better with the whole crazy intense bit that the trailers made it out to be, but I’ll let that slide. There wasn’t anything fancy or memorable about the music. It was basically as good as it needed to be in order to keep the tone in place…and that’s what they did here, as well.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 10/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2
Next up, we’re chugging right along into the narrative arc category, which is one of the easiest categories to score highly in. First up, we’re looking at the introduction, which did perfectly. By the inciting incident, we knew who everyone was, the basic setting, and what’s going on in these people’s lives. How about the inciting incident? That was perfectly clear and set the rest of the film up for a good ride. How were the obstacles? Totally fine. There were plenty of clear obstacles in the way, just as you’d come to expect. How was the climax? The climax was perfect. It felt like a perfect culmination of everything else put together, just as it should. Lastly, we’re gonna talk about the falling action, which was really great. It had a nice little calming down moment and a definite returning to a new norm moment as well, so that’s good.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 6/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 1|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience IN – 1
Next up, we’re asking if this film is any good to be considered entertaining when all is said and done. First up, we ask if it is rewatchable, to which I say…yes! I would have no issues checking out this movie again! Is this a film I would consider fun while watching? Oh yeah, absolutely. Whatever technical problems the movie may or may not have, it is definitely fun, and that’s something no one can take away from it. Would I like to buy this movie? Well, maybe…if it was either on sale for cheaper or if I just bought the digital copy. What about talking to somebody about the film that hasn’t heard of it? I really have no impulse to tell anybody about it, honestly. Does this suck you in, though? Maybe in certain parts, but definitely not throughout.
SPECIALTY SCORE – 45/50
Kids – 10|Family – 10|Sequel – 10|Comedy – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
Next up, we’re looking at the specialty questions that I asked before seeing the movie. First of all, how does it work as a kids movie? While I don’t think they’ll fully appreciate the story and message the film is attempting convey, it still has plenty of colors, action, and humor for them to fully enjoy – full points. Next up, how will families enjoy it while watching with their kids? This is the part where I think the older kids and adults will fully appreciate the story and message about accepting your limitations, full points. Next up, it is a sequel, does it add anything new? I went back and forth with this one, but the story itself is new and has a finality to it that I think works really well for the series as a whole…so I will say yes there. How about its comedy? Well, I wasn’t really affected much by the comedy itself. It was okay, but it really wasn’t anything special. I’ll say half points since kids might be laughing. I just wasn’t. Finally, was it halfway decent? Yes, I think it was.
TOTAL – 86
Score # – 204