Surprisingly thoughtful, with emotional insights that would resonate with older audiences, Cars 3 is a tribute to older people worldwide. The statement that life continues beyond the end of the race.
Cars 3 Synopsis
The racing world is thrown into upheaval with the emergence of ultra-sleek, new technology rookies, the appearance of which forcing many veterans to retire early or be replaced. Lightning McQueen himself is badly injured in a crash during a futile attempt to overtake new star Jackson Storm. Despondent, but fortunately perked up by his girlfriend Sally Carrera, McQueen returns to his sponsor Rust-eze months later to discover it has been purchased by a high-tech corporation. He is then offered the opportunity to redeem his reputation using the latest training methods and gadgets. In the process, McQueen realises he might have indeed reached the end of his racing life.
The Cars movies have never been high on my list of favourite Pixar movies, which I dare say is about the same for most other Pixar fans. Not that they were horrible productions, there’s never any bad Pixar movie in my opinion. Just that, the Cars franchise doesn’t feel to have the sort of emotional resonance characteristic of other Pixar works. There are also the accusations of owner Disney purely wanting to milk merchandising as much as possible. All these contribute to my perception that Cars is one of those movies Pixar produces to “fill in” the years between better-anticipated productions. A quota thing. A highly lucrative one too.
With Cars 3, it’s obvious that both Disney and Pixar are aware of these criticisms, and my, have they gone all out to discredit them. The movie has its flaws, but it is undoubtedly also of the storytelling standards audience have come to love and expect from Pixar. For an older viewer like me, the story is doubly affecting because it truly, truly feels only like last Saturday when I was debating whether to buy a McQueen figurine after watching the first movie. Cars 3 is not just another movie about racing, or about weird talking vehicles with eyes for windscreens. It’s a digestible philosophical discussion about ageing and how even legends are not spared the effects of it. It’s also about coming to terms with situations that could never be redeemed. A thoughtful story on how to gracefully reach the end of the track, and then boldly race on beyond it.
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