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Movie review: ‘Cars 3’

“Cars 3” (PG) 

Pixar gets back to basics with mixed results with “Cars 3,” a semi-entertaining sequel that’s better than “Cars 2,” but far inferior to the brilliant 2006 original.

Owen Wilson is back as the Lightning McQueen, the once champion hotrod-turned-aging machine that can’t quite keep up to the high-tech cars that are taking over the racing circuit. Pushing himself to the limit, Lightning gets into a catastrophic crash, and once repaired he must determine whether he’s going to get back on track or come to grips that maybe his best days are far behind him.

The film in many ways repeats what we’ve seen in the original, save a few new characters to help set up the film’s core narrative. Larry the Cable Guy is back and funny as ever as Lightning’s dimwitted best friend Tow Mater, but is woefully underused.

Hear Tim’s review of “Cars 3” with Tom Barnard on KQRS.

On the plus side, the late Paul Newman’s voice (from previously unused material) is also utilized in flashback scenes, which gives weight to the film’s wonderful sub-narrative about the importance of mentorship. Ultimately, “Cars 3” isn’t a bad film, just a barely above average one from a studio that we’ve come to expect a lot more from.

Lammometer: 6 (out of 10)

Watch Tim’s review of “Cars 3” with Zachery Lashway on KARE 11.