Yes, I suppose it’s old news now that I get pretty annoyed with children’s animations. I think the best ones are overrated, and the worst ones usually cause me to contemplate whether or not swallowing a battery would have been more worth my time.
But out of all of the animations I’ve seen, not once, NOT ONCE, were all the annoying children and their parents stone-cold silent during the entire movie. Not once have I seen a mother and her children leave the theatre halfway through the movie… and I’m someone who sat through the boring Secret Life of Pets, the obnoxious Kung Fu Panda 3, and the incompetent Sing. Cars 3 somehow was worse than all of them and then some.
And this movie got a 66% on Rotten Tomatoes? THIS movie? My Lord… I suppose people grade Disney on a curve even when they shill out garbage.
Now I have never seen a Cars movie, but the general consensus has told me that Cars 2 is universally hated and Cars (the first one) is universally tolerated. So considering most people decided Cars 3 was more like the first than the second, I figured I’d walk out and give it a solid 4 or 5 out of 10. Nope.
As I got out of the movie, I was trying to figure out which was worse: Cars 3, or the fact that after the movie, my own car started making noises that’ll probably translate to me losing $200-$300. I’ll get back to you on that.
So Lightning McQueen is really the only character with any sort of visible character arc (one that makes some sort of sense, anyway), and the movie seems so disinterested with taking this arc seriously that it made me wonder why they even made this movie in the first place….
… well, because of money and merchandising… but aside from that, there’s really no reason for this movie to exist. Lightning McQueen is an old car, and he is having trouble accepting the idea of retiring and would rather keep racing the new and improved cars to prove that he still has what it takes.
So what does he learn in the end? Does he masterfully overcome his age? Does he accept the fact that his time has come, and now he’s going to dutifully hand the torch to a new generation? (The answer below is a SPOILER BY THE WAY)
Well from what I can tell, the answer is both, because he does both of them somewhere in during the end. There is no great triumph, no great realization, no great purpose… the story is just about a car who decides to have his cake and eat it too…
The other car that has some sort of “character arc” is Cruz Ramirez, who’s a yellow female car who is introduced as “one of the best race car trainers in the world”, and as soon as that introduction is out of the way, she spends the entire movie proving that she’s a terrible personal trainer who thinks Lightning McQueen is going to get first place by riding the car treadmill at 5 miles an hour, and if he also names all of his tires and becomes “one” with them.
Finally, McQueen gets so tired of Ramirez’s condescension that he decides to go from 0 to 100 on the training module and ends up getting hurt in the process… to which he concludes that his error was not that he over-rushed the training (or that his trainer is an incompetent stooge), but it’s because he’s gotta train on the open road and forsake all of the technology the new cars are using to train…
So then, after that stupid scene, Ramirez then goes from “condescending trainer” to the “stupid comic relief” because she’s so bad at training people outside of the training center, and she makes witless remarks about everything. It was so quirky, guys. What a charming character she was.
And then… somewhere down the line, her character arc then slides to “I wanted to be a race car but couldn’t because I didn’t have what it takes wah wah wah.”
MAKE UP YOUR MIND, YOU STUPID MOVIE!! All of these immediate character changes were so sudden that it’s laughable to even call what Ramirez goes through a “character arc”. First, she’s the stupid car that serves to make the jokes for babies (which was odd because none of the babies in the theatre laughed once), and then she becomes the downtrodden female so that a dumb kids movie with talking cars can have a forced “women empowerment” message at the very end. Oh a message about women empowerment… is THAT why Rotten Tomatoes gave it a higher grade than it should’ve gotten?
No… that couldn’t have been it…
I can see why Cars 3 distanced itself from their “Mater” character. Every single time he was in a scene, it was the most obnoxious and useless part of that particular scene. I mean, the film was pretty boring and sterile on it’s own, but whenever he came in, the movie somehow got worse. He’s basically this movie’s Jar Jar Binks.
The humor in this movie is so obvious and unimpressive that you could have been comatose for the entire movie, and you still would have been able to comprehend every single joke.
The plot was so formulaic yet completely nonsensical that it lost any sort of ability to be compelling or heartfelt. And before you throw that stupid argument at me that “It’s a kid’s movie, Steve”, nearly every single other Pixar movie, though most are formulaic and all are for children, garnered such a compelling emotional message that adults still enjoy them.
This part is a minor quip, but what the heck, I’ll say it anyway: if you’re going to make a movie about talking cars, would it not be beneficial to the movies if you created some sort of cohesive universe with definable rules that you could use to create car humor that would be relevant to anyone who drives cars? You know, instead of just using it to make jokes that only drooling infants will think is comical?
I know, I know, “It’s a kid’s movie, Steve”. I’ll go sit in my corner of objectivity.
This movie is dumb, it’s obnoxious, and it really doesn’t go anywhere exciting. I know I bag on children’s animations a lot, but as I said before, every single kids movie I disliked was viewed in a theatre with kids that really enjoyed the movie. Not a single kid in this theatre so much as chuckled for Cars 3. It’s a dead, lifeless movie that is simply made to sell merchandise to annoying children. If Cars was made by Dreamworks or by some company that wasn’t Disney/Pixar, then the Tomatometer would have been lower, I promise you that.