Ralph Says CARS 3 Is Full Of Character and Light On Story

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“Cars 3” and “Rocky 3” are mirror images of each other. Both main characters get knocked down in the first act and are forced to train in order to win in the finale. Most of the film revolves around Lightning McQueen working to gain back his speed and defeat Jackson Storm. The other main storyline belonged to Cruz Ramirez. I won’t spoil her role in the movie, but I surprisingly cared for her story.

Smokey and Cruz Ramirez, the new characters in the franchise, were my favorite part of the movie. Smokey is a replica of Doc Hudson, but he gave Lightning a lot of advice and motivation. However, my favorite was Cruz Ramirez. I understood her, and loved her transformation at the end of the movie.

I also really appreciated Lightning’s arc in this movie. This Lightning was new and hardened by the world, which was a nice change of pace. Going forward, his new way of life will keep the franchise fresh, if it continues. I was also pleased with his relationship with Cruz Ramirez. I expected a romance to blossom between the two, but they remained friends at the end. That was for the best.

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The relationships and characters in the film are great, but the story isn’t. A major event happens in the opening act that affects Lightning (if you’ve seen the trailers, you know what it is), but the film chooses to ignore the consequences of the act. If the movie would’ve stuck the landing on the event and went along with the tone, this potentially could’ve been a great film.

Along with ignoring a major event, the movie suffers by using Radiator Springs sparingly. The small town was a big part of the charm and appeal of the first film (not the second), so not spending time in the town was a big let-down for me.

“Cars 3” gets by with its charming characters. The story isn’t great, but is survives because of Lightning and Cruz Ramirez’s fantastic character arcs. The film’s tone and story is essentially “Rocky 3” with Cars.

Final Word

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