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Lightning McQueen is an arrogant little rookie racing car who is accidentally dumped into a middle-of-nowhere town. There he finds a bunch of dopey locals who teach him how to play well with others.

What I Thought

I have been wanting to see Cars since first seeing a teaser way back in '04. Well, it's finally here, and I finally went. Apologies to those of you wanted to read my review a month ago, I had tile to grout. If you had helped me, I would have gotten to seeing this movie much sooner.

Turns out, this movie is a bit of a disappointment. It's kind of like asking for another "Mona Lisa" from Da Vinci, but getting a "Lady with an Ermine" instead and being a bit deflated over the result. You had such high hopes! The Toy Stories! Finding Nemo! The INCREDIBLES! Cars? Oh.

You try to tell yourself it's still Da Vinci and worth way more than everything else out there anyway, and you'd give all your left toes AND at least one testicle to own it (and sell it an hour after you own it, of course!). Plastic surgery and neuticles would fix you right up, and you'd still have a hundred million dollars left over to pay off your mortgages and roll around in naked. Um. Any takers, you know where to find me.

But in the end, this is not Pixar's best. Sorry.

The middle of the movie, where Lightning McQueen Learns His Lesson is REALLLY Boooooring. Reeeeaaaaalllyyyyy booooooriiiiing.

At one point, I swear to you, I had a flashback to Cats & Dogs, that movie with talking cats and dogs in it. At one point in the middle of it, you realize they're just cats and dogs with their little mouths computer enhanced to look like talking and YOU DON'T CARE. It was cute, cute, cute, cute, and then nothing. The cuteness runs out. No more thrill. No more excitement. Roll credits, please.

Pixar normally handles these situations with pizzazz. Throw a bunch of action, a hilarious sidekick or character (Dory, Edna Mode, the Nemo turtles), or just give us something gorgeous to look at. One way or the other, they manage to produce an amazingly tight movie that usually keeps the excitement and humor going.

But not really in Cars. It falls a little flat. Not even the cute little flying Volkswagen "bugs" can make me chuckle. And then it gets worse: a badly placed song lamenting the passing of little towns. In that minute, Cars descends into schmaltz.

Now I may sound like I hated the movie. I didn't! It had great humor at the beginning, at the end, and some sections of the usual Pixar brilliance in the middle. Larry the Cable Guy is hilarious as Mater, the broken down tow truck.

The animation, as always, is amazing and incredible. Just when you don't think they can do any more, they top the next movie with even more amazing things. In this one, it is the look of the metal cars, their reflection, their shine. WOW!

But I still mourn the missed opportunity.

One other complaint: no hybrid cars? C'mon! It's the car that allows me to look my nose down at everybody else and laugh at gas prices!

Make sure you stay through the credits (hilarious drive-in scene!) and after as well. There's one more scene after the credits are done.

Finally, due to the large swath of boredom in the middle, watch out with taking little kids to see this. They may get a little antsy.


All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.