My rating IMDb Rotten Tomatoes
Critics Audience Critics Audience
7.5/10 59/100 7.4/10 66% 78%
In recent years, the number of sequels, prequels, and spin-offs released at the theaters has grown so drastically that one can help but wonder: are these movies really necessary? Do they add anything to the originals?
Cars 2 (2011) was one of those disappointing sequels, with a less-than-interesting plot that had really not much to add to Cars (2006), which had been a success with the audience and with the critics.
Maybe that’s why Cars 3 is a needed sequel: Pixar may have wanted to redeemed itself and go back to basics, with a storyline worthy of being told. After the opening weekend in the U.S., it is safe to say that the audience welcomed it with open arms.
Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), once a racing champion and admired by all, is now being surpassed by newcomers, especially one arrogant rival named Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). Fearing he will no longer be able to compete, he’s convinced to leave Radiator Springs and his friends, including the adorable Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), to be trained by his new sponsor. In the training center, McQueen meets his new enthusiastic coach Cruz (Cristela Alonzo), who knows everything there is to know about training with simulators but has never actually trained anyone on an actual road.
The friendship between them, as well as the relationship mentor-protégé, is heartwarming and feels like a Pixar film, with a good message of perseverance and chasing after one’s dreams. It also brings back the theme from the first film, when McQueen was the new guy and Doc Hudson (the late Paul Newman) was the experienced one.
The score by Randy Newman is always entertaining and helps the pacing of film, which is accelerated, especially during the race scenes. There are, however, a few scenes that felt a bit longer than necessary, such as the many flashbacks throughout the story.
Hopefully Pixar will learn from the movie’s own lesson and know when it’s time to stop and give space to new racers. And the audience knows that creativity and talent is something that (almost) always puts Pixar at the top of the podium.