Run time: 109 mins
With something like ten billion dollars in Cars merchandise sales in Disney’s coffers, it’s to no one’s surprise they’ve asked Pixar to manufacture a new model.
Mercifully, the focus returns to the racetrack (as opposed to the second film’s lame James Bond hijinks) and there’s far less Mater the tow truck, which we might all agree can only be a good thing. In the middle of the opening winning montages, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) starts losing. There’s a new hotshot in town, a next-gen hi-tech model Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). So just like that, the fickle if inevitable next big thing takes displaces the old. So, in a flush of jaded lightening, our hero becomes yesterday’s news.
Luckily, a businessman – sorry, "businesscar" – named Sterling (Nathan Fillion) wants to bring Lightning to his bleeding-edge training facility and get him back into qualifying shape. And then, amid the back roads and flashbacks to Lightning’s old father figure Hudson (posthumously voiced by Paul Newman), something quietly remarkable occurs. A fresh lick of paint and a retooling in the script department puts Cars back on track. Just about. (Jack Whiting)