Verdict: A pleasant yet poignant drive, this film has enough soul to satiate you.
Cars, which released more than a decade ago in 2006, was received mostly positively. Cars 2, not so much. Now, Cars 3 sure rides home to redemption. When we watched the Cars 3 trailer we could see that it's taken a slightly darker turn, although not around the sharpest of corners.
The plot is simple and doesn't waste time in hitting top gear. Our main motor, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is winning races as usual until a leaner and meaner machine – a next-gen car called Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) – takes everyone by storm. A few other such glossy rookies enter the scene, making them hot stuff in the world of racing. Soon enough, our heroes become heroes of the past, making way for these hot-shots to overtake them.
Not fast enough for these fresh, modern engines, McQueen loses heart and hope, then focus, leading to a dreadful crash on the circuit. After recovering for months, he decides to set himself on the pursuit of happiness, so he can make a fairytale comeback. For this, he gets back on his tyres by training with Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), who treats him delicately (since he's getting old) much to his frustration, since he cannot wait to hit the pedal to the metal.
He needs to hit maximum torque in time for the next season, or he will be forced to retire, making it his only chance for redemption. While training to get back to his best, he learns a lot about acceptance, patience, and self-belief. With advice from vintage veterans, he learns that there is no school like old school, which somehow manages to get you nostalgic, giving you a bitter-sweet taste of good old glory days.
The finale of the film does take an unexpected turn, so don't expect it to be too dramatic or cliched. You'd expect a crazy photo finish, but this one is in no hurry to cross the finish line. The film adds a surprising chunk of feminism, which is like a revision of the 'women power' lessons learned through Wonder Woman just earlier this month. It shows how discrimination isn't present in just the human world, but also in the world of automobiles.
The story never drifts away from the main plot, instead steadily steering in the right direction. The constant 'old man' jokes never get old and will make you chuckle, owing to their light-hearted nature. The film is more plot-based than merely dishing out action scenes, which makes it a very pleasant albeit poignant drive.
Why You Should Watch This Movie: Watch it for a taste of glory days, and to learn how to never stop believing in yourself, and even in others.