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Cars 3  : Sunset On The Race Track
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Friday, June 16, 2017
Animation Film
Brian Fee
Nathan Fillion as Sterling, Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, Tony Shalhoub as Luigi, Margo Martindale as Louise Nash, Kerry Washington as Natalie

Whether man or machine, the standoff is the same. Younger, faster models arrive to edge out the veterans who’re still chugging along.


Hot new wheels Jackson Storm arrives on the race track at top speedand smartly tells old champ Lightning McQueen, “Nice to beat you.” Did you say “beat” or “meet”, wonders the veteran and looks aghast as one by one, other oldies around him decide that life has sped by and it’s time to call it a day. But McQueen would rather go to a new-age training centre for a makeover and a fitness regimen than retire.


We’re of course talking about cars on the race track but the scenario and the sentiments are purely human and contemporary. McQueen gets a new sponsor and a female personal trainer, “a maestro at motivation” called Cruz. It takes a while for McQueen to face reality about his creaking joints even as he readies himself for a dream run against the technically superior and much younger Storm.


There are TV anchors taking sides and a hark-back story for Cruz who nurses her own dreams. After a couple of sometimes long-winded sequences like the one on a dirt track, it’s time for the big showdown between the old and the new.


The one problem with director Brian Fee’s new fleet is that it takes itself a tad too seriously and has no time for humour which can sometimes be a drag. But while Smart Aleck Storm is predictable, the finale moves the franchise forward. A champ turning mentor and handing the future to a new victor from a new gender is a sound ending for a new beginning.


Although there aren’t pit stops that are high on entertainment which is rare for an animation film, it is technically well-handled and will satisfy the little fans of the talking cars series. Owen Wilson for McQueen, Cristina Alonzo for Cruz, Armie Hammer for Storm and a dozen other voices for peripheral characters are all professional and proficient.


For a film that makes a pertinent point about sunset years in the life of a champ,Cars 3 gets a 3* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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