Last month, I had the opportunity to travel to Emeryville, California to screen footage from Pixar’s Cars 3, at the company’s headquarters and studio. At these sorts of advanced screenings it’s made clear from the start that you’re not seeing the entire movie, only select portions, and the amount they show you can vary. I attended a similar preview for The Good Dinosaur a few years ago in New York City and only saw three brief scenes from the movie.
Who knew automated vehicles were also subject to the scrutiny that comes with aging? They may not have to worry about wrinkles, greying hair, or sagging skin, but when cars reach a certain age, it’s straight to the junkyard. (This incites a whole other philosophical discussion around the Cars characters and whether or not they are sentient beings – is their consciousness the engine or the frame, the ghost or the shell?) In Cars 3, racing champ Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is forced to retirement as a brand new racer enters the game.
Journey back with me now to the heady days of the mid-2000s. George W. Bush was President. Iron Man was still known by most people as a Black Sabbath song. And a little raunchy comedy called Wedding Crashers became a phenomenon in theaters, crossing an astounding $209 million in the U.S. alone. The film cemented the bankability of its leads, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, and helped launch the careers of much of its supporting cast, including Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, and a young Bradley Cooper. The film, about a pair of bros who, y’know, crash weddings, is still remembered fondly to this day.
Cult comedies that attempt to regroup for a sequel many years after the original film often have mixed success. You’ll probably find few people who like Anchorman 2 or Dumb and Dumber To as much as the originals. But, that hasn’t stopped Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson from returning for Zoolander 2 and, despite the odds, this actually looks really funny.