'Lightyear' Delivers A Fun - But Uneven - Big Screen Experience
By Sal LoCicero | June 20, 2022
After two years of placing their movies onto Disney+, Pixar has given their latest feature, ‘Lightyear’, a theatrical release. First announced in December 2019, ‘Lightyear’ is the first spin-off in the Toy Story franchise, and follows Buzz Lightyear before his appearance in ‘Toy Story’ (1995). Pixar invites us on a journey that - surprisingly enough - has the potential to prove it's worthy of existence unlike ‘Toy Story 4’.
Right from the very beginning, an unexpected twist about this feature is revealed, that will most likely divide audiences who come in with certain expectations. The entire plot structure differs entirely from what was teased in the marketing. Luckily, what is shown in the first 20 minutes of the movie is still entertaining. The visual aspect and the emotional elements are what help keep the start of this movie in motion. Chris Evans does a perfect job voicing Buzz Lightyear, his acting never catches you off guard. Replacing Tim Allen, who has voiced the character for years, can be a hard shoe to fill, but Evans proves that he’s capable of playing the role.
Once the story takes a different direction, that is when it begins to fall short of potential. Most of the film’s focus gets put on hold for the rest of the second and third act. The movie still remains enjoyable, however the introduction to the three space recruiters; Mo Morrison, Izzy Hawthrone, and Darby Steel (voiced by Taika Waititi, Keke Palmer, & Dale Soules), who are a major part of the second act, drag the storyline down. It’s obvious that these characters exist only for comedic purposes, however they fail to get a laugh out of the viewer.
The character, Sox The Cat, is a fantastic scene stealer. He is undeniably the most hilarious and adorable sidekick to Buzz. The chemistry between Sox and Buzz is so perfect, if they were the only ones in the movie during the other two acts, this would’ve been much better.
As you’d expect, the animation never fails to impress. As a matter of fact, there are some scenes that have such great detail where you forget the type of movie it is you’re seeing. The picture looks so real, as if audiences are getting a glimpse at the future of animation. Seeing ‘Lightyear’ in IMAX adds to the immersive experience, given that Pixar developed the first ever virtual IMAX camera for certain scenes.
As a ‘Toy Story’ spin off, ‘Lightyear’ (somewhat) does the job. Being that this is the first Pixar film to be released in theaters again, it’s worth going to see. All this movie has to offer is a fun time at the movies with friends and family.
What are your thoughts?