Back on the screen to continue their adventure, are Lightning (Owen Wilson) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). Released on June 16th, 2017 we follow Lightening as he gets back on the track but his new competitors are high-teched newbies racing at all new speeds. As Lightening desperately tries to keep up but has a horrific accident.
Embarrassed, Lightning hides away from the world healing from the physical and emotional damage. Four months later Sally (Bonnie Hunt), Mater, Mack (John Ratzenberger), Luigi (Tony Shaloub ), Guido (Guido Quaroni), and the rest of the Radiator Springs crew convince Lightning to revamp and retrain and retire when he is ready. He reluctantly agrees. Mack brings him, Guido, and Luigi to meet the new Rusteez owner and sponsor Sterling ( Nathan Fillion). There Sterling shows him the new training facility and meets Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) his new coach.
Cruz, an upbeat trainer, does everything to loosen Lightning up and ease him into using the new simulator but Lightning just wants to try it and beat his new competitor Jackson Storm( Armie Hammer). Not listening to Cruz, Lightening hops on the simulator but loses complete control and ends up driving into the simulator. Sterling watches, disappointed, calls run and Lightning into his office to try to convince him to retire. Lightning makes a deal to have one more race, if he wins then he retires on his terms but if he loses, then he retires and because of the brand’s face. However, Lightning realizes that training with high-tech gear won’t work so he, Cruz, Luigi, and Guido take it outside to the beach.
Not being able to track his speed well since Cruz has no equipment and has a hard time keeping up, they decided to try a practice race at Thunder Hallow undercover not knowing what they got themselves into. Thunder Hallow ended up being a demolition derby where they try to preserve themselves from being crushed by Miss Fritter (Lea DeLaria ), a take-charge demolition school bus.
Barely making it out of there, Lightening is furious with Cruz and fires her but Cruz tells him off and tells her backstory of wanting to be a racer. She turned to go back to the Rusteez Center. Lightning, still upset, calls his best friend Mater, who gives him the idea to find Doc Hudson’s (Paul Newman) coach Smokey. Lightning goes after Cruz and gets her to come on a road trip to Thomasville, Tennessee to find Smokey.
Smokey (Chris Cooper) agrees to train Lightning and gives Cruz a boost to motivate Lightning to beat Jackson Storm. They train hard until the day they need to arrive in Florida for the race. Cruz and Lightning get there preparing to challenge Storm. Lightning starts the race but as he hears Sterling telling Cruz to return to the training center, he radios Smokey to get her to return. As he enters the pit stop he tells his racing team to prep Cruz, who now enters as 95 to finish the race.
Tailing Storm, Cruz maneuvers over him and wins. Ending the movie back in Radiator Springs with Cruz joining as a friend and lightening with a new paint job, honoring the Fabulous Hudson Hornet.
I saw this on opening day with my kiddo, I was a Disney Cast member then so I got some awesome deals. After Cars 2 bombed, I was worried on how bad this was going to be, like why draw out the storyline right? But Cars 3 was the best of all three films. Girls can do anything first of all plus it honored the race car history. Well worth the watch. Plus some cool Easter eggs to other films.
The Disney Pixar Connection Group