Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cars (2006)

Pixar's first dud. I guess it was bound to happen, but it doesn't make it all right. I'll say that Cars is certainly gorgeous. The top-flight animation is consistently a wonder to behold, with every landscape and character detail rendered as pleasingly as possible. But you know what? Visual grandeur will only go so far when you're making children's entertainment, and if there's not a story worth telling you might as well step away from the computer and pick up a paintbrush. The story is standard We-Should-Slow-Down-and-Appreciate-Life stuff, and it appears that the boys at Pixar were so obsessed with the look of the film that they forgot to make the plot interesting. (Also, there's a rather cynical irony in that message being transferred by a film as frenetic and flashy as this one.) Too, the film's sense of humor leans towards the cheap & corny, as if clumsy puns and down-home hick hyucks are proper stand-ins for the gentle quietude of small-town life. So, yes, it looks nice, but where's the soul? Where's the wonder? Where's the sense that actual fucking human beings were involved in creating this rather than just a massive bank of computers? Metal and chrome, however shiny, are no substitute for a beating heart.

Grade: C-


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