Cars 3 is out in Malaysian cinemas now and it represents the third outing for one of Pixar’s least successful film properties. That’s not saying the Cars franchise is bad, because the first one was rather good. However its follow-up, Cars 2 took on a more action-oriented approach. But the formula for this was rather simple – make a killing at the box-office and push more merchandise, which the franchise has, in fact more than any other Pixar properties with the exception of Toy Story.
This of course brings us to Cars 3, which will reportedly close out the Cars trilogy, or start a new one, depending on how you look at it. The film opens with Lightning McQueen doing what he does best, but only to discover that eventually he isn’t as fast as he once was. Faced with stiff competition from faster and younger cars such as Jackson Storm, McQueen goes back to the drawing board to discover his form.
A veteran sportsman faced with insurmountable odds does make for a good story, but we already seen that in tennis this year with the return of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Cars 3 tries to chart the same route but with McQueen obsessed with the memory of his mentor, Doc Hudson.
Daddy/Mentor issues are largely the focal point of the story here as McQueen tries to adapt to new forms of training and technology, whilst also facing the prospect that things around him are changing. But eventually he begins adapting with the help of his new trainer Cruz Ramirez, a fast car with confidence issues.
Eventually, the big day arrives with McQueen receiving his large shot at glory, but there’s a little twist thrown in, which tries to tie in the first film with this one. It’s an expected one at that if you had paid attention to what has happened on screen for the past hour. And overall, it serves up a nice sentimental lesson for fans of the franchise.
But other than that, Cars 3 is more or less a rethread of the first one. The animation is still good though but you could say it’s a tired model being given a minor update or facelift to extend its shelf life and sell more products. And that’s basically what best sums up this Pixar franchise.