This was OBVIOUSLY not nearly as good as the first two, in the same way the second was OBVIOUSLY not nearly as good as the first one. The quality was pretty much what I expected, maybe a little better. I am willing to accept it, though, as legitimate, good Cars canon, because it wasn’t as heartbreaking as I thought it would be when I *sob* saw the teaser and *sob* saw McQueen’s crash. (I do feel a little cheated, though, since the crash wasn’t a huge part of the movie. Eh. What’s a teaser for except to be a red herring?)
They didn’t make very good use of music in this one (while, in the first one, the music turned Cars into the first movie to make me cry for actual sadness and not fear). The mood was really set by lines and character expressions, not music, which loses the movie some brownie points from me. One thing that would have made the experience a LOT more enjoyable is if they used the old racing soundtrack for Lightning’s race and the new one for Cruz’s race instead of the other way around. I don’t mind that they used the new one for Lightning and the old one for Cruz, but it would have set the mood better the opposite way.
I really liked the character of Cruz because she was so annoying and meant so well, so I am going to ignore what other critics are saying about her being a girl-empowering figure. In case you didn’t know, I detest it when people say a movie is great because of girl-power. That implies fear of being judged for not being a feminist. (I am allowed to have this opinion because I am a girl.) Girl empowerment is important and, in a way, an element of this movie, but c’mon–don’t act like it’s the main point. IT’S NOT, AND I LIKE IT THAT WAY.