Saturday, July 1, 2017
Cataline Critique: Cars 3
I'm tempted to leave it at that but I shall endeavor to provide you with a little more than just that.
Cars is the weakest of Pixar's franchises. None of them were great to begin with but they were at least good enough. This was one wasn't.
The best you could say about this one was that it was cinematically competent but I expect more than that from Pixar.
The first film introduced the main characters and let them do an introductory story. They were all sterotypes but some meat was then put on the bones. That is all well and good.
The Second one expanded the established characters, this is also good. The spy story was a little silly but it worked in context. Mater became a real character in his own right instead of just a side kick.
The third shrugged and turned the characters back into tropes and stereotypes. It was the path of least resistance. This is not good. Clearly the view was, well we are under contract let's get this overwith. This one was too below average to be called, "okay". Cars 3 is a bad movie.
My suspicions were raised by the RottenTomatoes score of 67% which is barely "fresh."
A score in that range invariably means one of two things. It was either a good right wing movie, (American Sniper RT score of 72%). Or it was a bad movie the critics gave a pass to because of Lefty politics, (Ghostbusters RT Score of 73%) .
Well it has the name "Disney" on it and it has been a long damn time since that meant a right wing movie.
The downfall Cars 3 comes in the form of feminist politics. Shocking, I know.
The theme of the plot start promisingly enough. The theme initially appeared to be encroaching mortality. Changes of life that come with age. Accepting that you aren't now as good as you once were and worse, you can't even be as good as you ever were just one more time.
When you pick a theme... Stick. With. It. Don't shift it over to GRRRRL Power when the movie is seventy percent over. Which is what Cars 3 does.
Movie begins with Lightening McQueen enjoying his life as racer with his various racing bros/competitors. Everything is sunshine and smiles as the racing season progresses and then the young rookie Jackson Storm blows them all out of the water.
Jackson is the first of the "the new breed" of ultra high tech racing cars. As the season progresses the "new breed" dominates the circuit and Lightening's bros start dropping out and retiring. A the end of the season Lightening pushes it too hard and crashes. Everyone is left wondering if this is his last season. Many call backs are made to Doc Hudson and his career ending crash.
Okay good start to a movie, Lightening is either the comeback kid or it's time for him to accept his fate with dignity and pass the torch.
Unfortunately they settled for both.
Lightening acquires a corporate sponsor when the Rusteze guys sell out to some billioniaire car played by Nathan Fillion. I think he was supposed to the be the villain but they never got around to giving him something evil to do. The Captain-Mal-Mobile wants McQueen to retire while he still has a good reputation that can be cashed in on. Basically he bought up Lightening's brand in order to hawk merchandise.
Lightening makes a deal with his new sponsor. If he loses the starting race of the new season he'll retire but if he wins it he can keep racing.
Anyway, villain-car introduces McQueen to his new trainer Cruz...who is a girl who doesn't believe in her self enough to race.
You already know where this is going.
Yep Lightening gets Cruz to believe in herself and she is the one who beats Jackson Storm. Normally that would mean McQueen gives up racing to coach the new kid. Nope, McQueen makes it clear at the end of the flick that he is still racing. They couldn't commit to one ending or another so they picked both.
Everything in this movie was underdeveloped, tacked on and performed by rote.
It was everything a sequel shouldn't be.