Every adult has been through it. Even Lightning McQueen cannot escape it in Cars 3, a fitting “threequel” to the series. We are talking about midlife crisis. It’s all rosy throughout and suddenly, one day, you realise you are not as good as you thought you were. It’s time to accept the fact.
Cars 2 focused more on Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) and was an international spy thriller. It was also a disaster and fans of the Cars franchise did voice out their disappointment.
Cars 3 returns to the basics – it returns to Radiator Springs to shine its headlights back on Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson). Once a champion racer, McQueen is now being pushed out of the sport he loves by younger, flashier cars such as Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer).
Meanwhile, McQueen’s sponsor, Rust-eze, is bought by Sterling (voiced by Nathan Fillion), who wants to turn him into a racing brand. Lightning asks for a chance to race in the Florida 500. McQueen thus trains hard, with the help of race technician Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo), who’s always had her own racing dreams.
Along the way, McQueen also takes some inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet. There are a few unexpected turns in the movie as well. The movie is all about #95 and how he manages to accept the fact that you cannot always be the “hero”.
Cars 3 re-establishes the original characters, the short moments of comedy provided by Luigi, Guido, Mater, and the other residents of Radiator Springs. Overall, Cars 3 comes across as the most mature portrayal of McQueen than the previous two iterations.
While I feel that comedy is the strong suit of the first Cars film, Cars 3 captures the heart often displayed in other Pixar movies. Everyone in the audience was genuinely cheering for the heroes during the closing moments of the film, as it is hard not to develop an emotional connection to McQueen and Ramirez.
With Cars 3, Pixar might have just produced the best film in the entire series. The movie is so good that I think many who are not fans of the the others may be making an emotional u-turn on their feelings about Disney-Pixar’s Cars and its characters.