Lightyear should be a sure thing for Disney/Pixar, but the film blasts off without much to it, instead delivering a cast of forgettable characters (minus Sox) and a rushed climax featuring an underwhelming villain.
This is the movie that Andy watched, the adventures of Buzz Lightyear in space as he attempts to complete a mission gone wrong. The animation here is crisp and beautiful, an intergalactic feast for the eyes that once again shows that Pixar is the best in the business. But compared to previous Pixar entries, Lightyear is devoid of much emotion and has a frustratingly uninspired plot that lets the titular hero down. Chris Evans is fine in the role of Buzz, but the character is so one note that it’s not as enjoyable as his toy counterpart. The crew that Buzz rolls with throughout the film is also lacking in the favorability factor, overwhelmingly annoying and shallow in their creation. The same can sadly be said for villain Zurg, a character we’ve known about, but who gets fleshed out more here in an unnecessary way (avoiding spoilers). The overall conflict is over in the blink of an eye.
Sox is the true winner here, a sidekick who brings the laughs and adorable moments when the rest of the film doesn’t quite know what it’s doing. It’s of course yet another marketing win for merchandising at Disney, but it sure does bring a smile to my face to think back to the interactions between Sox and Buzz.
Not every Pixar movie is going to knock it out of the park, nor do they all need to be emotional, layered powerhouses. But that’s what we’ve come to expect, making a thinly crafted Lightyear, focused on a character that’s been around for 25+ years, all the more disappointing. It looks and sounds great, but there isn’t much under the surface, a shocking surprise and major letdown.
Lightyear hits theaters Friday.
Photo from EW