Director: Brian Lee
Cast: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Armie Hammer, Daniel Lawrence Whitney, Bonnie Hunt, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington and Lea DeLaria
“Faster than fast. Quicker than quick. I am speed,” an aging Lightening McQueen (Owen Wilson) reiterates his self-imposed philosophy as a gen next racer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) threatens his career as the fastest racer in the world.
Defeated by age & technology and desperate to redeem his status, McQueen goes back to where it all started- dirt race track and the teachings of his mentor Hudson Hornet. This third installment of ‘Cars’ by Brian Lee lacks the element of intrigue that had kept us on the edge of our seats in ‘Cars 2’. Unlike the previous part, there isn’t any strong sub-plot and mostly revolves around the central character, who goes to painful extents to defy age and cope up with new-technology cars. While the shift from tow truck best friend Mater to McQueen himself is interesting, and much needed for a strong pull, the ending is both a shocker and a tad bit dispiriting.
But then, some films are all heart, aren’t they?
With unconditional support from his teammates, McQueen does indulge in rigorous training, only to be told that his days of glory are over and that he should contemplate retiring. A self-assured, almost former race king, McQueen, says to himself- I get to decide when I retire- but sluggishly makes his way back to the top and bang! The tides turn.
Now if we go back in time and reminisce the 2006 ‘Cars’ inaugural film and its subsequent extension ‘Cars 2’, then you do know that mind-boggling twists & turns are really Brian Lee’s thing. Yes, the ending could have had a more logical warp but that does not take away from the fact that it is a treat to watch.
Light-hearted, built on the principle of friendship and sticking to its basics, an ever-pleasant Owen Wilson aka Lightening McQueen, ‘Cars 3’ justifies the noise it had made before and after its trailer release. Wilson is relatable and can be empathised with and has stayed true to the nuances of his character. Kerry Washington as the omniscient statistics girl is hilarious and gives a mild heartache every time she popped up on screen (you will find out why). Mater’s character took a backseat this time around but is just as clingy, which works. Armie Hammer is obnoxious, snobbish and puffed with pride- just what his character demanded of him. A stern trainer beaming with positivity, Cristela Alonzo is so brilliant. Her transition in the film is smooth and comes with a box full of surprises.
'Cars 3' is more than what meets the eyes; it has a message to convey, a lesson to preach and emotions to stir.
Sadly, the greatest athletes pan all professional sports have met a very gloomy end to their careers and settled for either commentating or product endorsements. When you watch the film, you get an insight into the heads of your favourite sporting stars and how they must have felt to hit rockbottom at their game. Quite literally....