Lightyear ★★

2022 UK Releases Ranked

“I bought you five minutes.”

So disappointing. This might be the first time I’ve felt like Pixar has made a blatant and soulless cash grab of a movie. There’s a real lack of the Pixar charm in this film, from rather boring characters to a story that just feels meandering and meaningless. I don’t think anyone was asking for a Buzz standalone, and maybe they’d have been best to leave it be. 

The story itself is as generic as it could possibly be, it manages to feel rather repetitive and stretched too thinly with it’s run time. I honestly found myself a little bored by the time the third act reveal roles around. The most interesting aspect of the story was Buzz and Alisha’s story, with the time travel aspect bringing in some decent character moments. Sadly it’s rushed past for a second and third act that never particularly delivers on laughs nor thrills 

It’s not helped that this version of Buzz is far less compelling and likeable than the Toy Story version we see grow and love. It’s not even Chris Evans fault who does his best, but doesn’t get much to work with. Leaving Buzz as a generic action hero, going through the same character arc we’ve seen thousands of times before with better, more charismatic characters. The rest of the cast don’t fair much better. The small group of heroes around Buzz are hardly developed, and often annoying, non more so than Taika Waititi’s bumbling crew member, never managing to find the laughs the film is clearly trying to achieve from him. 

What I did like was the visuals. This feels very cinematic, with well designed landscapes and fun imagined worlds and set pieces. Sox is also a fun addition, and while yes, the cynical part of me screams ‘buy this cute cat kids!’, he does bring some of the highlights. It’s a shame that the films story and development for it’s lead character never quite worked for me, as there was some decent moments, especially in the first half. 

It begs the question though, why doesn’t Andy have a Sox the Cat? I don’t imagine any kid seeing this film in the 90s and not wanting that little cat over the generic action hero.

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