CARS 3

Cert U 109mins Stars 3

After the clunky capers of Cars 2, this third lap for the talking animated racing cars is thankfully more pacy and direct.

Good natured and sentimental rather than outright funny, it’s engineered in bright colours by crack team of animators to provide a comfortable afternoons babysitting.

Intuition and experience must learn from technology driven youth when racing champ Lightning McQueen loses his pole position to speedy young upstart Jackson Storm, one of a new generation of high-tech racers.

I’ve always been underwhelmed by this series which seems more keen to promote merchandise than stretch itself creatively.

But the introduction of Latina actress Cristela Alonzo alongside regular Owen Wilson is a positive gear change.

She plays over eager trainer Cruz Ramirez who puts McQueen through his paces, with surprising results for both of them.

Their sparky camaraderie gives the film more heart than I expected and they hit the emotional accelerator on the way to the chequered flag.

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