I was actually pleasantly surprised by the storyline from this film. My biggest issue with the first film is that we are introduced to McQueen when he's an arrogant rookie who already has it all. In this film, the tables are turned and he is the older veteran who is fading out in skill. This makes this film a much better underdog story than the original. So even though this film plays out almost like a re-hash of the original, it is much better because of the interesting spin of the table and the fact that the protagonist is much more relatable. The new character of Cruz Ramirez that is introduced is also very well developed and has the same qualities. I thought that the comedy in this film was much funnier than that of the first, and more intelligent than that of the second, so it works better as a whole. There is also a twist at the end that I really didn't see coming. All of these factors combine to make this film pretty enjoyable.
The voice cast of the film definitely did well. The only part that was jarring was that the character of Chick Hicks was recast in-between the first and third films, so it may have been better if that character were replaced by someone else. The animation is as gorgeous as can be expected of this studio. I also thought that the homages and parodies of the racing culture were very well-done, as they were in the rest of the series.
To me, "Cars 3" was a much better re-play of the original film with a few twists that distinguish it. As such, it still feels like a fresh and enjoyable viewing experience. I like that the series has come full-circle, and I think that it is a good point for this series to retire, while it still finds itself a champion.
Big Tuna's Rating: B+
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.