Film Review – Lightyear (2022)

Title – Lightyear (2022) 

Director – Angus MacLane (Finding Dory) 

Cast – (voices of) Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi

Plot – Legendary Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Evans) faces numerous battles as he attempts to to return home after a failed mission has left him and his compatriots stranded on a foreign planet. 

“That was utterly terrifying and I regret having joined you”

Review by Eddie on 22/08/2022

It’s no secret that for a solid decade or arguably longer, Pixar has lost a significant portion of their sparkle that use to see them regarded as one of, if not the best, film production studios in the world. 

Knocking out classic upon classic and dominating world-wide box office receipts year after year, it was never going to be possible for Pixar/Disney to keep up the pedigree of products it was releasing but this years lacking Lightyear showcases a significant reason for concern for a brand that at this stage in time appears lost and aimless with where it should move too next. 

A prequel that no one ever appeared to ask for or want judging by a worldwide box office haul that is unlikely to see Lightyear turn a profit, at the beginning of director Angus MacLane’s adventure we are given a text scrawl that harkens back to the golden days of early Toy Story that is supposed to lay the foundation of our excitement for what is too come but does nothing more than remind us all that at one time in history our beloved Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear was a part of something far grander and more imaginative than this pleasant enough but undeniably slight feature. 

Now voiced by Captain America himself Chris Evans (a move that has created its fair share of debate in the film loving community), Buzz is a much younger version of his famous self here as he and a small collection of fellow Space Rangers find themselves stranded on a foreign planet battling to find a way too return home, an issue made all the worse when the dreaded Zurg appears and makes life for Buzz and his offsiders far harder than it already was. 

Unable to generate the emotion or humor that made the Toy Story series so adored in the first place, there’s nothing horribly wrong with Lightyear and it does give us the loveable robotic cat SOX to enjoy but there’s a overarching sense of meaninglessness to the whole concept of this film that makes it one of those animated ventures that will struggle to connect with the adult market while offering only mild entertainment for those younger audience members that are far better off watching the prior films in this universe. 

Marking an intriguing period of “what’s next?” for Pixar, Lightyear is that mid-tier product that has now been holding the company back for multiple years and one wonders how they will ever get close to the quality offerings they once were able to produce en-masse. 

Final Say – 

There’s slight if unremarkable fun to be had from Lightyear but considering the character at its core and the prior entries into the Toy Story universe, Pixar’s latest feature can only be regarded as a let down. 

3 on parole team members out of 5 

8 responses to “Film Review – Lightyear (2022)

  1. Adding a little bit to what you said, I just found it all so generic – the voice thing didn’t bother me at all – but the Zurg sub-story also doesn’t make any sense in relation to the TY films, it was all a bit bizarre and – as you say – not sure if it’s aiming for adults or kids. There’s no reason why Andy would have got excited by it really, it’s not even that fun!

    SOX though? Excellent.

    • Couldn’t agree more Dan! At the end of the day I think the lack of fun here is a real issue, I can’t see many kids wanting to delve into this one multiple times.

      • Yeah, I just thought it’d be a literal separate adventure, and while I don’t mind character building usually, if this film (as they sell it) was such an influence, Where’s all the other toys? Let alone Sox, it doesn’t make any seeense, and I didn’t know I needed it to 🤣🤪

  2. Excellent review and reflective of how my family felt about this subpar movie. My kids didn’t really enjoy it (they were 12, 7, and 2 at the time), my wife spent the entire movie texting (we were only ones in theater), and I fell asleep, which is probably why I complained about it less than they did. Having 7 kids I’ve seen my fair share of animated features and this is one of the biggest disappointments we as a family have experienced. It wasn’t needed but if it was to be done it seems like it would have been better to make Buzz what he is- a toy, and maybe have a Monster’s Inc style training university where they have to qualify to be boxed and sold. Or something. Anything but what they did.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts mate. This is exactly what I was suspecting that kids wouldn’t actually engage very much with this which is a massive failure. I think they were trying to do something really emotional poignant and forgot just to make a fun and engaging story.

  3. Pingback: Film Review – Lightyear (2022) – MobsterTiger·

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