Feb 18, 2008

[Movies] Cars (2006)

Disney-Pixar CarsI'm usually a major Pixar movie fan. You can't really blame me - pretty much every single movie they've released have become instant hits at the box office and have forever marked our social history in one way or another. The humor in the films has always been top notch and throw in the amazing attention to detail in terms of their animation and you have the makings of really amazing movies.

Cars is probably the exception to this personal rule in terms of all other Pixar movies. It took me a total of three movie-watching sessions to finally finish it since I kept falling asleep. Some could argue my sudden narcolepsy could be more attributed to my graveyard work schedule above all else but still, I've been known to stay up for a good movie and Cars just didn't have that kind of staying power for me.

Cars is the story of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), an up-and-coming rookie anthropomorphic NASCAR racer who cares for no one but himself. On his way to what pretty much could be the biggest race of his career, he gets waylaid in the forgotten town of Radiator Springs where he must complete his sentence for wrecking the town's main road while learning more about the value of other people...err, cars.

I'm normally pretty big on talking machines - I am a robot fan after all - however the premise of talking cars just felt a bit too weird for me. It was like some weird mix of Thomas the Tank Engine or something. Plus it was set in the context of the NASCAR culture, which probably wasn't a very strong hook for the likes of me.

The story got kind of wobbly at times and just seemed to drag. Sure, there were the usual Pixar-driven comedic elements here and there but it didn't feel like one continuous flow and instead felt more like disconnected comedic bits that didn't necessarily contribute to the greater whole that was the plot.

Pixar movies also tend to have very strong characters involved and Lightning didn't feel that great to me or the kind of mass-appealing character that normally gets to play the lead in these things. I actually preferred the rat in Ratatouille over him. A rat!

Plus they usually have the typical character who acts as the main source of comedic value and this time around they give us someone voiced by Larry the Cable Guy? Um, I guess I'll pass.

So overall it was just an okay movie, feeling like just another run-of-the-mill CGI creation the likes of which seem to be popping up left and right these days. It gets some brownie points for importance of the moral at the end, but really it could have been handled a lot better.

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