Cars (2006)

Pixar not at full throttle

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is a hot shot rookie race car who cares about no-one but himself and reaching number one. He has a shot at becoming the winner of the Piston Cup, but has to go to California to compete in one more race against two other race cars he tied with. On the way, he gets seperated from his big rig, Mack, and in a frantic attempt to catch up, gets lost in the sleepy town of Radiator Springs on Route 66, and does some serious damage to the towns road. As a punishment, he is forced to re-tar the road. Whilst there, Lightning meets Sally the Porsche (Bonnie Hunt), Doc Hudson (the late great Paul Newman), and Mater the Tow Truck (Larry the Cable Guy), and the eager young racer learns that sometimes life is more about the voyage than the outcome of the race. 

The majority of the films characters don't really get the chance to stand out and be memorable, with very few exceptions (Mater, of course). It did not help how they made Lightning quite a dick and very unlikable early on in the film, but I suppose that was necessary in order for his eventual character development. And that's one of the big problems I had with this film, there was near-to nothing when it came to character development, and the character development that did appear was very basic and by the numbers, I mean Sally's only development was pretty much the basic love interest character development you'd get in a half-assed film.

Pixar have definitely proved again why they are top of the class when it comes to animation. The film's animation is very beautiful to behold, proving that even if their films aren't as brilliant when it comes to characters or they story, you can count on them to be consistent when it comes to delivering an utter marvel for the eyes.

While the film failed to give us a story that gets to the heart of the characters, it does manage to give an effective story that delivers the heart that was so-far missing from the film, and this time, it's about the town itself, detailing how it went from a popular place filled with cars to a near-ghost town.

Mater had trouble reading the review

I did feel that the film spent more time developing the world of Cars and how the cars fill out the human roles, rather than developing the characters or giving us something memorable. While this was quite interesting, to see the world of a single film developed in many ways as to how it differs from our world, this ultimately led the way to a number of pointless moments that added nothing and were just there to kill time (Jay Limo, anyone?) 

It does seem unfair to compare this movie with the other films that Pixar have made, but when it comes down to it, you cannot help but have to compare Cars to every other film Pixar has released, and upon comparison, it comes out as a weak tale, especially when compared to the likes of Toy Story and The Incredibles. But Cars remains popular among children to this very day with it's toys still selling strong, which would not have happened if it was a film from Dreamworks or Sony.

Cars is an original tale that's quite creative, but lacks in developing the characters other than the lead, and also fails when it comes to making them stand out, spending their time focusing more on developing the cars world. The visuals and the music are the best thing about the film, alongside the brilliant tale of the city itself. This is a film that the kids will love, but adults will continuously compare to Pixars other works, and that will lead to them wanting more than what was given.


ParanoidCreep97 said…
Great review, I liked a bit more than you did, but it's definitely not Pixar's best.
I remember it being entertaining, but since Pixar has made some very complex films - both emotionally and visually - it felt far too simplistic to fill in the shoes of such films. One of the studio's worst; disappointing, but you know, it's no surprise that it's at least somewhat engaging.
HarleyQuinn said…
I enjoy this movie, and I went one star higher, but great review nonetheless!