Cars (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner26/07/2006

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 121 mins

The first genuine misfire from the Pixar studio, Cars has terrific animation and strong voice work but there aren't enough gags and the story is extremely weak.

What's it all about?
Owen Wilson voices cocky red racecar Lightning McQueen, who gets stranded in the dusty Route 66 town of Radiator Springs while on his way to the Piston Cup in California.

After a falling-out with the local judge (Paul Newman), he makes friends with a helpful tow truck (Larry the Cable Guy) and falls for a sexy Porsche (Bonnie Hunt), who each teach him valuable life lessons along the way.

The Good
The animation is as gorgeous as always, but when you find yourself admiring the beautifully rendered scenery in a cartoon you have to wonder whether the film itself is really working.

That said, the voice cast are excellent. Wilson's laid-back charm works well and Cheech Marin steals the entire film as Ferrari-obsessed tyre-shop owner Luigi. It's also worth sticking around during the end credits for the film's funniest gags.

The Bad
The main problem with Cars is that the central story is weak and riddled with tired cliches (it's basically the same plot as Doc Hollywood). Similarly, the premise itself fails to convince – Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Monsters Inc were all set in a recognisably human world but here there are no humans and it just seems weird.

The other problem is that there just aren't enough good gags, particularly when compared to previous Pixar successes. In addition, the film has one of the most intrusive and off-putting Randy Newman scores in recent memory, proving once and for all that Family Guy's It's Randy Newman! And he's singing everything he sees! gag was right on the money.

Worth seeing?
In short, Cars stacks up badly compared to Pixar's previous output and its punitive running time means both adults and children will run out of steam before the end.

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Cars (PG)
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 10:43

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