DIRECTOR(S): John Lasseter & Joe Ranft
What a disappointment. I wasn’t expecting much but this was something else. Boring, pointless and seemingly disregarding its own internal logic willy, nilly. Now my wife tells me not to over analyse things but my problem is this:
Cars drive on roads. Our hero car, Lightening Mcqueen, voiced by the ever smug toned Owen Wilson, is sentenced to lay a new road in punishment for accidentally destroying it during his arrival in the run down town of Radiator Springs.
This is almost the plot to the Michael J. Fox film from early 1990’s, Doc Hollywood, that without the cars is very similar. Upon laying the tarmac, the cars from the town are beside themselves with happiness as they glide along the new road. Later, it is revealed that this town, populated as the entire world is, by cars, has being left to rot as an interstate had been constructed and that had bypassed the town leaving it to go bust etc… All this was explained in true Pixar fashion with the country tones of Randy Newman.
Now, cars, as already established, love roads. A cars purpose is surly to drive down roads. So why would cars settle in a hick town when there was a gleaming new road built just next to them? This may be taking the whole the concept of talking cars too seriously, but this is the heart of my problem.
I don’t get it!
I get Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, The Incredibles and even Finding Nemo, as they breathe life in to creatures that already have some, even toys, though not really, children often believe this to true on some level. I also accept that cars also have personalities of sorts, but they are tools and there are just too many conceited that make NO sense in this movie to justify the premise, at least to me.
And to top it all off, I watched this with my step-children, aged seven and ten, boy and a girl and about half way through a film that they have seen time after time, and claimed to like, they both declared that they couldn’t remember an entire sequence! You know why?
Because it was BORING!
This is Pixar’s, an otherwise first-rate animation house’s, lowest ebb, with the exception of Ratatouille which I still haven’t seen. They’re not perfect, though the Toy Story trilogy, The Incredibles and later Wall.E and the unexpectedly fantastic UP have raised the bar straight to the top of animation, Cars is a let down that I didn’t need to see. It’s formulaic, tiresome and even though, I must admit it made me laugh a few times, I was thoroughly irritated by it, especially its voice talent and inexplicable characters.
Poor effort, but two years later, Wall.E would remind us which animation studio changed their industry forever with the ingenuous and well judged Toy Story back in 1995.