I confess that I watched the Snyder Cut, though it was for The Cars. Eh, the movie was fine. It was full of overwrought Snyder bits, but it’s good enough. What really bothered me and what I found most unbelievable in the whole damn thing was the incredible F-85 Oldsmobile Cutlass in the film hard-starting.
The idea is that it’s a shitbox that can’t even reliably start. It’s hardly believable, because it’s clear that a car that looks as immaculate and pristine as that Cutlass is a labor of love for someone, is a car that someone clearly cares about. It’s decades older than anything around it and still a running, driving knockout car and I’m supposed to see it and immediately think, “old, crappy car?” Nope. I’m calling bullshit.
This is a trope that I’ve seen in other films and it’s just lazy. Filmmakers have collectively decided the best way to convince viewers that characters face car adversity is to shoehorn an “older” car into frame regardless of its condition. In the case of this Cutlass, it does not track at all.
Look at this car! The paint is incredible. The interior is clean. The original wheels are minty. It even has all of the snaps on its convertible top! Sure, the car is trashed immediately after its introduction but that only makes it even more tragic and irksome that its last moments are painted as those of a struggling older car on its last legs. It’s supposed to be the kind of car you feel sorry your friend has to drive everywhere. A hand-me-down car or something a character had to buy because it was all they could afford.
But we know the truth. That car is clearly living its best life. In fact, that Cutlass must be a Kryptonian, because there’s no way in hell it’s survived all these years unscathed, especially in a city like that! (Residents of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, may think on the white drop top Buick Skylark of their neighborhood, and think of its condition.) The filmmakers should have tried harder. Show me a rusty Cutlass. A banged up, scuffed up convertible coupe with a saggy bumper and a shredded top. Show me a survivor. Then I’ll believe the tension of the hard-start. Don’t try to tell me that an older car is a shitbox when it’s very clearly not.