Cars 3

Jun 15, 2017

More of the same: cute cars, droll conversation , and smart CGI. Good summer fun for everyone.

Cars 3

Image courtesy of IMDb.

Grade: B

Director:  Brian Fee

Screenplay: Kiel Murray (Cars), et al.

Cast: Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris), Cristelo Alonzo (The Angry Birds Movie—voice)

Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hr 49 min

by John DeSando

“You'll never be the racer you once were. You can't turn back the clock, kid, but you can wind it up, again.” Smokey (voice of Chris Cooper)

If you think this is a kids’ movie, think again.  It is part philosophical treatise on the challenges of aging and the emergence of successful women. For the former, Cars 3 gently guides us through the aging pains of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson); for the latter, his female crew member, Cruz Romero (Cristela Olonzo), emerges as a potent force to rejuvenate the aging speedster and, like Wonder Woman, usher in a new generation of female heroes.

By no means is this a boring movie for youngsters, who will delight in the amusing little talking cars and some pretty fancy track work. The kids older than six will be edified by the joy with which aging can bring its challenges and rewards, as McQueen learns how to compete with his slower reflexes but accumulated wisdom to outfox the young upstart, Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer).

Aging parents and grandparents will get the most pleasure out of this animation, nodding approval as it counsels smarts versus foolish talent, wit versus gender discrimination. Throughout, director Brian Fee and his gang of writers that includes original Kiel Murray keep focused, like the best car competitors, on the goal, in this case competing when everyone feels you don’t have a chance.

Both old timers and women are the winners in this race, regardless of who wins. 

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at