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Best of Boston 2009

cars


JITTERY, REVVED-UP NIGHTMARE: Cars


This noisy animated paean to NASCAR and Route 66 gets mired in the middle laps on a grippy track. Young hellspawn high on popcorn and soda may adore the obnoxious hero, a whiny racecar (Owen Wilson) who crashes into chain-gang duty in a backwoods burg; he (and we) can’t escape until the local highway is blacktopped and lessons are learned. Despite some cleverness (like a quick shot of over-fueled NASCAR fan cars all but crossing their tires in a restroom queue) and the mechanical beauty of the film’s landscapes (a pixel-pastel approximation of John Ford’s Monument Valley), Cars is slow death in the fast lane. Bookended by two crazy races, it’s a jittery, revved-up nightmare about the rise of the machines.

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