Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cars (2006) [G] ****

A visitor from space might be forgiven for thinking that the car is the dominant life form on the Earth. Tended by armies of humans who design, manufacture, sell, lease, fuel, service, insure, wash, repair and drive cars, we staff the entire petroleum industry to provide fuel for them, build the highways, roads and bridges on which they travel, the parking lots and garages where they rest, and the race tracks on which they compete. Roughly one in seven jobs are related to cars, so it's easy to imagine a world in which the car really is the dominant life form, each car taking on a unique human personality, and together filling all the roles that humans normally fill. And so we have this entertaining and thought-provoking family film.

Lightning McQueen is a rookie on the Piston Cup Racing Circuit; he's young, brash and arrogant. After finishing the season in a three-way tie he's on his way to California for a race in which the three finalists will determine this year's winner of the Piston Cup. Through an unusual set of events Lightning finds himself miles off the interstate, on old Route 66, lost in the nearly-abandoned desert town of Radiator Springs. The cars he meets, the friends he makes and the lessons he learns all help Lightning understand that there's more to life than just winning an empty cup; that thinking only about ourselves is guaranteed to drive our friends away; that living life in the fast lane take a lot of energy; and that by slowing down and enjoying our friends and family, as well as the scenery that passes by, our lives will be longer and richer.

With an inventive screenplay, incredible high-resolution computer-generated graphics, and a terrific voice-over cast including Owen Wilson as Lightning, Paul Newman as Piston Cup winner Doc Hudson, and Bonnie Hunt as Sally Carrera, this is a film for the whole family to enjoy more than once. It's also a fitting tribute to Paul Newman; actor, philanthropist and race car driver. 

Labels: animation, comedy, family, sport   
Internet Movie Database   
Metacritic 73/100   
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=69, viewers=74)    

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