I just got done watching Cars, or at least as much as I could stomach. All I can say is: wow. How could Pixar, the most reliable CGI animation company ever, create such a dull, boring and inane film as Cars? It may look pretty, but the movie has absolutely nothing to contribute to the world of movies. I don't even know how children could get a kick out of it.
Cars takes place in an alternate America where there are no people - only cars. Living, breathing cars. I wonder who the genius was to think of this stupid concept; unlike past Pixar films, which took the bar of animation to the next level each and every time, animated cars are about as exciting and thrilling as watching paint dry. It probably doesn't help that I can't stand NASCAR either, because apparently the target audience for this flick was five-year old NASCAR fans. The movie is about a cocky race car, a rookie, who is the next best thing if he can just get over his ego. When he gets trapped in a small, desolate town, he finds love in a beautiful Porsche (car romance - how utterly sad and pathetic) and discovers what it means to be on a team and have friends. He takes this newfound knowledge to the biggest race of his life, against his top two competitors. And that's the plot. There are no villains, no adventure and no comedy. Just a story, which drags on for nearly two hours. I can only imagine how many children fell asleep in the theater...
Cars suffers from many things, especially the lack of an ingredient called comedy. I don't care if this film was aiming for a younger audience - Pixar is certainly adept at finding the proper middle ground (look at any of its previous films and tell me that those movies are not highly entertaining to both adults and children alike). Cars just isn't funny. I chuckled at one single moment in the entire film - the rest was dull, dull, dull, dull, dull.
As a racing movie, Cars also sucks. There is no sense of speed in the racing scenes and no excitement factor. The special effects are good, but those only get you so far.
Look at Toy Story. Toy Story 2. A Bug's Life. Monsters, Inc. Finding Nemo. The Incredibles. All of these films would rank at or near the top of the best CGI films of all time. All belong to Pixar. Cars is the movie that made Pixar just like its competitors.
In terms of overall qualtiy, Cars still feels like a Pixar movie (in that it looks and feels more like a real movie compared to most other garbage out there), but it lacks the Pixar flare for blending special effects with interesting stories and funny screenplays. Cars is pretty much a disaster in all sense of the word. At least Ratatouille looks to set things right in 2007. Until then, park this one in a place with no DVD player.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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