Lightyear (2022)

What’s this all about?

I was very young when the first Toy Story movie debued and took the world by storm. I remember watching kids bring the figurines to school and then fight over them at lunch and playtime. I, myself, was never really into the movies. I guess I just didn’t understand the hype until I got older and the films took on a whole new meaning.

The talk around the new Lightyear movie is mixed, but overall it’s pointing in a negative direction. I have to admit that I was wary when I heard that Chris Evans would be voicing Buzz. Don’t get me wrong, I love him as Captain America, but I was not sure that he was suited for a voiceover role. Plus, what about Tim Allen? He is the Buzz everyone knows and loves. Choosing Evans feels like a marketing ploy, less than a creative decision, and I still feel like this even after watching the film. It was distracting having Evans’ voice present throughout so much of this story. I think it would have been better to have a relatively unknown actor, without having previous characters they played being synonymous with their name, to play Buzz than a Marvel hero.

While I do not reveal major plot points in my reviews, I think it is only necessary to mention a “twist” that happens in the middle of the movie. While watching the film, I did not understand how this twist made any sense. It was jarring in the moment, but after thinking about it, I understand where the writers were coming from. Overall, this mediocre and confusing plot twist was one of the better plot points, and that should say a lot. That being said, the plot points in this movie need a lot of work.

Starkly, this movie could have been much better than it was. The first 20 minutes could have been summed up in 5 minutes or less, and could have been more powerful and meaning. It felt like the writers were trying to do “this and that,” and check off everything on their list, that they forgot to actually spend time making everything fit together so it would produce a moving, Pixar movie.

Is it worth watching?

No. Honestly, it’s not. It is going to let you down and leave you wanting more. It made me sad to think about how good this movie could have been if more time was taken into working on the script.

The writing is not there. In the beginning of the film, there is text on the screen that reads something like, “Toy Story came out in 1995 and told the story of a boy named Andy. This is Andy’s favorite movie.” You cannot help but compare the original Toy Story to this film and wonder who let this get made? Couldn’t have someone stepped in, gave some notes, and pointed the creatives in the right direction? How could this be Andy’s favorite movie? This movie did not make me love Buzz, it made me love Sox.

Warning: slight spoiler ahead… Plus, I could not help but wonder: Taika Waititi voices a humorous character that boasts his signature accent. If people had spent generations on the new planet, wouldn’t everyone have the same accent by now? There wouldn’t be one person with a strong New Zealand accent since all of the accents would have morphed into one shared accent, right? I don’t know, I am not a linguist but there are multiple details like this that keep me going, huh? And, how can they walk around on the planet without their helmets on? Huh?

Sentence Summary

When Buzz Lightyear is consumed by his own pride, he lets it control and take over his life until a robotic cat eases him into changing his mindset.

5/10

Rating: 5 out of 10.

Needs improvement. The five stars are for Sox for holding the whole movie together, creating some dimension, and a reason to keep watching. The animation was beautiful, but the story was lacking so much that I am not sure there was even a story there.

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