Cars 3 (2017)

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Released:  Friday, June 16, 2017  
Length:  109 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Genre: Family
Rating: Cars 3 Is rated G by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaGeneral audiences. All ages admitted.


Cars 3 © Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

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Cars 3 images are © Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Go on The Road with Disney's Cars 3 at The Car's Road Show Event  4/3/2017 8:27 AM EDT
Off To The Races!Sunday is always the best day to enjoy a bit of car racing, whether it's NASCAR, Indy…..or hanging with our favorite Cars personalities Lightning McQueen and gang which is what we got to do today in Miami. If you haven't seen any teasers or posters in your local theater, Disney and Pixar are releasing the 3rd installment of their popular franchise, aptly named "Cars 3", due in the...  More>>

Cars 3 Theatrical Review

From the minute we met Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson; Wedding Crashers) in Cars, we, as an audience, were enchanted.  He was the self-assured, confident race car with a little bit of cockiness thrown in - but hey, what else can you expect from the best.  When he loses his way and finds himself in a small town, he learns humility from a ragtag group of motor vehicles who take him in.  That same group helped him and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy; Blue Collar TV) when Mater got caught up in international espionage in Cars 2 and now they are back for the third installment of the popular series.

When we rejoin the gang, Lightning is on the racing circuit and having a great year.  Once the young, hotshot rookie, he has become the elder statesman of the sport on top of his game. Suddenly a new, younger model named Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer; The Man from U.N.C.L.E) comes from behind to surprise Lightning and his fellow racers and upends the sport of car racing.  With his new aerodynamic design and updated technology, Jackson storm can achieve speeds Lightning McQueen could only ever dream of.

Suddenly, Lightning's competitors start retiring and he sees himself coming in later and later at the finish line as Jackson Storm leads a new generation of racing cars to victory.  Pressured to retire Lightning pushes himself too far and ends up crashing at the last race of the season.  He must then decide if he is going to come back and face these faster cars or quit.  He ultimately goes on a journey with his "trainer" Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo; The Angry Birds Movie) to regain his glory and try to win again.  Spurred on by the deal he makes with his new owner, Sterling (Nathan Fillion; Castle), Lightning must push himself farther than ever or retire forever.

Back are all the characters we loved from the first two films, though Mater has a lesser role this time around.  The cast does a fine job with what they have to work with but sadly that isn't all that much.  Wilson is the Lightning we remembered and the flashback scenes with Doc Hudson are enjoyable.  Alonzo doesn't quite make the grade as I didn't feel she was emotive enough but Fillion was an excellent, if not a predictable, choice to play Sterling.

The animation is up to the high Pixar standard and the quality is excellent but the 3D isn't anything special and could probably be skipped. The soundtrack by veteran composer Randy Newman (Toy Story) was disappointing and distracting.  Gone is the Rascal Flats version of the upbeat "Life is a Highway" only to be replaced by less distinct songs and at one point I even felt as though I was listening to a snippet of the Star Wars soundtrack.  

The film drags at points and doesn't bring the same smile or level of humor from the original.  The state of the art sequences kind of reminded me of the waiting area for test track at Epcot and, while it's cool to look at, it isn't necessarily new if you've been on the ride.   Of course, the ending is cliche and can keep the door open for another film in the series but I'm hoping they will let Lightning McQueen (Spoiler alert!) retire in peace.

Better than the second film but not as good as the first, Cars 3 is still an uplifting story that will probably resonate with little kids.  It also gives us a new, female racecar to emulate in what is clearly the year of the female. 

I think its time Lightning takes his last victory lap and call it a night.

Grade C


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  • 4/3/2017 8:55 AM EDT

    Disney Pixar Car 3 Road Show Event, Miami, FL

    Sunday is always the best day to enjoy a bit of car racing, whether its NASCAR, Indy…..or han...
  • 11/22/2016 10:27 AM EDT


    Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owe...
  • 4/26/2017 12:11 PM EDT


    Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owe...

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