Cute, fun, empowering.
All I could think about while watching this movie was how much my grandma, Mammie, would love this movie. I have to admit, after watching horror movie after horror movie, watching a family movie was a breath of fresh air.
This movie was cute like the previous two movies; however, I did not enjoy it as much. Here’s why:
- I predicted the ending early on. (I never do that!)
- Usually, even if the movie is bad, I become the main character and think exactly like them–leading me to never be able to predict the ending because I am experiencing things as they do (I like this). For example, it took me watching Clueless four times before I understood why everyone found her stupid… Anyway, in Cars 3, I predicted right away that Lightning McQueen was going to wipe out, Stirling would turn out bad, Cruz and Lightning would get assigned to each other, and that Cruz would end up racing for Lightning and winning the race. Of course, there were aspects I did not predict, but I predicted all the main plot points beforehand! The movie was too easy to figure out in my opinion.
- I was not satisfied with the buildup–if there even was any–of the friendship between Cruz Ramirez and Lightning McQueen.
- The friendship between the two was forced. I liked the introduction. Cruz treating Lightning like he is 70 was hilarious, and so was the beach scene (“the beach ate me”). But after a while, nothing seemed to move. All the emotional conversations between the two were one-sided, so they never connected. When Cruz told Lightning her sob story, he was silent the entire time. Later on, when Cruz helped Lightning in his training by pretending to be storm to motivate him and Lightning was improving, he congratulated himself instead of thanking or even chatting with her. They felt awkward and distant.
- I wanted more of Doc!
- It was obvious in the beginning that Lightning needed training. But why the heck did he go to Smokey instead of to Doc? Throughout the movie, Lightning watched clips of Doc wiping out as well as performing his incredible never-before-seen moves and winning, looking at newspapers of him with Doc, talking with Smokey about Doc, etc–so why was there no Doc??? (He was in some flashbacks, but they were short.)
- Cruz’s character was cliche, and I did not agree with the ending (even though I predicted it ahead of time).
- Everyone has a backstory, and since Cruz was first seen killing it on the simulator and then training current racers, it was easy to guess hers. Once she revealed that she had always wanted to be a racer and chickened out of her shot, it was easy to guess that she was going to end the movie by winning the race and becoming a racer–with Lightning as her mentor. The reason I do not like that ending is because not everyone has the physical or even mental/emotional ability to achieve their dreams, so making it seem like everyone can achieve their dreams is unrealistic and misleading.
- The music did not stand out to me.
- I still remember Life is a Highway from the first movie! In the past, the music for the car movies have been carefully and well-chosen. This movie…not so much. The music is modern, and as I think most people can agree on, modern music (most of it, anyway) is bad. Obviously this is personal preference, but the music nevertheless was unmemorable and not enjoyable.
- I did not feel as empowered by the ending to this movie as I did with the previous two.
- This may have been the result of my earlier prediction of the ending, but either way, I did not walk away with an enlightened feeling. I did like how Lightning become Cruz’s mentor, but as I described earlier, the relationship between the two felt forced, so it did not work.
- This movie felt unnecessary. The franchise could have gotten on without it.
- The message seemed to be the same. I did not gain anything from this movie either. My opinion definitely could be different if they carried it out differently/improved it, but as it is, it was an unfulfilling end to the cars movies. I much would have preferred that they ended with Mater (I am probably going to buy all the movies anyway).
I am not a sourpuss, though. Here are all the movie’s positive qualities:
- It had a great overall message.
- This movie encompassed how life changes when you grow up. Nothing stays the same and you have to adjust. It also encourage working hard for what you want and never giving up. Follow your dreams is another message, and work hard and you will succeed is another one. There are probably more, but I think that is the gist of it. The messages may be cliche, but they are important to exercise.
- It was funny!
- The pranks in the beginning, Mater in the middle, and Cruz throughout all lightened the movie up. I cannot deny that I laughed many times during this movie, and I am sure I would laugh again if I were to rewatch the movie.
- We got to see Lightning McQueen later in life after he has grown up more.
- It is always fun to follow our favorite characters for as long as movie makers will show them to us. I may not have enjoyed the last cars movie as much as the first and second movies, but I definitely enjoyed seeing Lightning at different times of his life.
- We also got to see Lightning McQueen wipe out (everyone messes up, accidents happen).
- Sometimes we put people on pedestals, so it was nice to see one of the greatest racers of all time wipe out too.
- The clips of Mater showed him being as adorable as ever.
- If you did not love Mater after the first movie, you sure as heck did after the second one! Mater is a laugh-box and a supportive friend, so I enjoyed the scenes of him giving Lightning not-so-good advice and cheering for him at his races. I wonder what happened to his girlfriend…
- I loved that Lightning’s competitors (the old ones) were his friends.
- In the previous movies, Lightning’s racing competitors were mean and violent towards him. Cars 3 shows a whole different side, where as a result of Lightning’s years of racing with the same cars, he and those cars were friends. They would pull pranks on each other before, during, and after the races–and would cheer each other on when one of them one. I loved the lightheartedness and friendship.
- Another change I enjoyed was when Lightning joined Dinoco. Just like Lightning became friends with his old competitors, he “became friends” with an old competing company.
So, overall, I think Cars 3 is worth a watch. However, it did not live up to the masterpieces that were its previous two films and was unnecessary.