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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cars - 2006

Well, if I am being completely honest here this is probably the third or fourth time I have started watching Cars, but turned the television off I found it so boring. But since the new arrival of Pixar's most recent creation, "Cars 2" I figured I must see the only Pixar film that has not been viewed by me to this date. Yes, I liked Cars, but my biggest problem with the film was the original idea of it, in all seriousness, it's stupid. An entire world run buy nothing but Auto Mobiles that have eyes instead of windshields, struggle to maintain facial expressions (especially life-like ones), and to make it all better, there are no humans whatsoever.  However, Cars has something special going for it, and that is John Lasseter sitting in the directing chair for the first time in seven years. He sure may be rusty, but in the end, in ways I cannot possibly comprehend, the big man that started it all makes Cars a film worth watching, for adults and kids.

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is a famous young rookie race car that has his shot at becoming the first ever rookie to win the big title, the Piston Cup. After getting rid of his crew chief before the final race where he is tied with two other cars for first place, against all odds Lightning ties his other two competitors in the race and is forced another match in California with a week to compare. Lightning has a problem though, because of his self centered personality he loses his team and will never be one of the greats, according to famous race car "The King" anyways. But nevertheless, Lightning moves on to California for the big race in search of the title and a new sponsorship. Forcing his driver to drive all night, Lightning falls asleep and through coincidence gets lost and ends up down Route 66. This is where Lightning finds a town with only but a few cars remaining, but more importantly, Lightning may just learn about life as more than winning races and getting sponsors.

I have already expressed my complaints about the idea of this film, so there isn't much need to go into the problems with the story. I love Pixar as much as anyone should, but there is no running away from this one, it just isn't good and that is all there is to it. John Lasseter's writing, along with the rest of the crew's, has (at times) some emotional depth, but compared to some other fantastic Pixar films we love so much (Up, Toy Story, WALL-E) it just doesn't stand up on its own very well. With that said, Cars must be viewed as a film in its own, which means it has its moments, but ultimately fails in this category, plain and simple.

Like every Pixar film, without a doubt Cars undeniably succeds on one level, animation. This world centered around cars may be a little too silly, but it is absolutely stunning in every possible way. I could sit and watch animated movies with this much beauty all day, no matter the story, cast, or film makers. Besides How to Train Your Dragon and Kung fu Panda, if you can find a DreamWorks films with this fantastic of visuals, you come talk to me, and I will politely tell you how wrong you are.

The acting is generally a fairly solid piece of work here, except of course for Larry the Cable Guy. I loved the character of Mater, but knowing the fact of whose voice was playing him was far too much for me. It may have been good, it may have been bad, but frankly I just don't like the guy. Owen Wilson was decent, but coming from him I would have expected more, especially in an animation comedy. Bonnie Hunt and Paul Newman were fine, neither miscasts, but nothing I can really rave or rant about, I only wish the cast could have had the passion of other superior Pixar films.

Overall, Cars is not Pixar's most complex or fantastic film, and quite possibly is their weakest, but by some miracle John Lasseter creats a film that works (somewhat) on its own. If only I could have gotten past the idea of this film, like the rest of the world that loved it more than I did. Don't get me wrong it had its time, but I only hope Cars 2 is better, which Unfortunately I am hearing that it is not.

Story: 2/10
Writing: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Direction: 8/10
Visuals: 10/10

Final Rating: 6.6/10


  1. I liked Cars a lot a while back when i first saw it, Nothing all that great today but i still catch myself watching it when it's on TV. BTW i think i liked the story a bit more.

    Ha Nice review as always Matt!

  2. I really think there is a hate Cars for the sake of hate cars syndrom with it. Pixar is an unenviable position that everyone wants Toy Story everytime they make a new movie. I'm a Cars/2 fan and think that the bad rap they are getting is unjustified and when one says it was awful everyone else slavishy follows suit.
    Even as lesser Pixar flicks they still beat the awful Yogi Bear and Hop.

  3. Jesse - Yeah, I really trashed the story, and I rarely give something as low as a 2 lol. Thanks!

    Brent - Agreed. I expect to like Cars 2 a lot more really, mainly because my man Peter Travers gave it a 3.5/4, and usually when I disagree with him it is because I liked it more. Also agreed, Yogi Bear gets a 1/10 from, just due to the fact I felt sorry for it...

  4. I agree with you that it's not the best Pixar movie. And I found its beginning rather boring, but eventually closer to the end of the film I started to like the characters and the world.

  5. I did as well. the ending was definitely the best part. Thanks for reading!

  6. I will admit the idea is stupid. My score was a little higher than yours. Kids will definitely love it that's for sure. Terrific review!