For all the kinetic vroom, the imagination is static. 3-D can do little for a story this flat, as the cute Pixar cars get involved in a Grand Prix race and Bond-like thrills. When the animators rely so much on sparky verbiage, we know their ’toon tank is basically empty. This loud, gaudy rush of clichés includes some famous voices (Owen Wilson, Michael Caine), and the hot-racing hero car, Lightning McQueen, reminds some of us how bored we were by Steve McQueen’s 1969 racing movie Le Mans. 2011. 2011.

David Elliott

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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