• Joshua Buck

Cars (2006) Review

A hot-shot race-car named Lightning McQueen gets waylaid in Radiator Springs, where he finds the true meaning of friendship and family.

The story starts at the height of Lighting McQueen racing career to date. The rookie is level on points with 2 other racers and all he needs to do is win this last race the become the Piston Cup champion. A tie breaker means that all 3 joint first racers have to have an exclusive race between the three of them and in the venture to the race not all goes as planned.

Lighting McQueen who lost his pit stops crew for being a jerk and is relying on his mate truck driver, Mack (played by the ever present John Ratzenberger, who seems to do a voice over in every pixar movie, and something that they even play reference too) to get him there. This seems to be like Lighting McQueens only friend and even then, he can’t help but not keep to his word to Mack. This is his downfall however as they are separated and McQueen is left to do something himself.

This sets up his character arc exceptionally well and sets it up that he wants to win the race so he can get everything. Even though he feels like he has everything in his world of racing he strives for more but he doesn’t realise what he is missing. It is this internal battle of his character that is set up really well and one that Lighting McQueen doesn’t even realise he has. This is a great setup of his character and a great way to tell a story.

He gets lost and turns up and completely ruins a depleted town in radiator springs. A community that is close and nothing like Lighting McQueen is used to. The town is a completely different world and what seems terrifying to his character eventually turns into him understanding that this little town in the middle of nowhere has a history and story. It is really nice to watch this realisation that his character has and plenty to offer to this little neglected town and that it isn’t a bad place. This is shown as well by some beautiful cinematography when McQueen is exploring the area with Sally who takes him for a drive. It makes him realise what his life is missing and his way of saying thank you is to please everyone in the community that he has met. This shows that his character has learnt what friendship is and at the precise moment where he seems to forget about the race and turn into a Radiator Springs citizen. But the script does of crushing McQueen in the right point of the script by him being found by the press and Mack. This gave plenty of time for the realisation that McQueen wants to win the cup but he doesn’t want to do it under the capital of Dinoco, the big racing brand but with friends and a good community behind him.

The movie is really fresh in its idea and is funny with its adult innuendos and little things that I never noticed as a kid such as how the gas station where they go and chill out and fill themselves up is actually more like a bar. Little things like this just made it really enjoyable to watch.

How pixar used to do the cut scenes at the end of the credits. I forgot how funny the end credit scenes and outtakes used to be as a kid and to watch them again was amazing. They’re so funny and it is a little detail like this that reminded me off my childhood.

All in all, I thought Cars was really good and a lot better than I remember, it is a great character story and a lesson that children and parents alike can learn from.

I rate this film a very firm 4/5.

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