Based on what we've been told, nothing good is happening in Cars 3. Or, at the very least, nothing simple.
First, Cars 3 had an unexpectedly dark teaser trailer (well, unexpected if you didn't know that Cars 2 had an unusually high death rate for a movie about sentient cars). Now, director Brian Fee is giving a few more plot details to Entertainment Weekly. The article is called "Cars 3 first look: Meet Pixar's new millennials". Please join me down the rabbit hole where a movie about talking cars has turned into another battleground in the war between millennials and everyone else.
To Fee's credit, he never frames the movie this way. His point of reference is ageing sports stars:
McQueen is not the young hotshot anymore, the kid he was back then in Cars 1. He's in the middle of his life, and as an athlete, that's getting up there. You have your whole life ahead of you, yet your career is starting to show its age. He's looking in the mirror and realising, 'I'm 40 years old,' and dealing with the fact that the thing that you love more than anything else, you might not be able to do forever.
Fee brings this analogy up again when talking about newcomer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), a brand new car with brand new technology:
In a very broad term, I think of old football players with those little leather skull caps, and you think of football players now with all their armour, hitting so hard. It's not the same game. What they did was not anything like what we do now. And that's Jackson: He thinks the future of racing and the high-tech ways they train and what they can do means they're taking the sport to a new level, and the older guys had their day, and it's done, and they have no place in the future of racing.
Now I'm wondering where new technology comes from in the Cars universe. And where new cars are coming from, period. If they're born, then a new generation of cars shouldn't so technologically different from Lightening McQueen's generation, but Fee says they specifically designed Jackson to make McQueen look slow and old. So maybe the cars are evolving at a fantastic rate? Maybe they're built, but there are no humans in Cars -- oh god cars build their own children and imbue them with life through dark magic.
Or the cars are basically the same and the new high-tech is just adopted by the new generation, meaning there's nothing stopping McQueen from doing the same, except that he's old. That seems more like a McQueen problem than something to blame the younger car for.
This article opens with: "It's mobile millennials vs. mid-size cars with midlife crises in Disney-Pixar's next movie." I'm just going to leave that there for you to absorb for yourself.
Image: Disney/Pixar via EW
But then we also get: "From an ideological standpoint, Jackson embodies the extreme entitlement that has come to plague millennial descriptions. 'He thinks the world is his. He's taking over. He's owed it,' says Fee."
Uh, isn't this about race cars? If he's faster, isn't he owed it? I mean, if you're the faster car in the race, you do win, right? Please, someone explain to me why Jackson is a "villain" rather than this just being about McQueen ageing and coming to terms with it?
Oh, by the way, were you looking for a video introducing a new female car as if it's a sexy woman?
You're welcome. And yes, that is the music they went with for a character named Cruz Ramirez.
And if you think I'm over-analysing a movie for kids about talking cars, I would submit that they are inviting this analysis by talking about how deep, emotional and "human" this film is. The millennial vs. mid-size battle comes to theatres June 22.