Lightyear – Harmless, but Aimless Sequel
Director: Angus MacLane
Writer: Jason Headley (Screenplay) Angus MacLane, Matthew Aldrich, Jason Headley (Story)
Cast: (Voice Talents) Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, James Brolin
Plot: While spending years attempting to return home, marooned Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear encounters an army of ruthless robots commanded by Zurg who are attempting to steal his fuel source.
Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Lightyear starts when Buzz and his partner Alisha land on an unknown planet. Searching for life forms they believe to be there. Disaster strikes as they try to escape, causing the spaceship to crash land on the planet. The crew must work together to rebuild, creating a life on this planet.
When Buzz gets the chance to test out the new fuel source, learning the consequences. Every test will see him lose a part of himself. This is until Zurg arrives, searching for the power source for his own means.
Thoughts on Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear is the space ranger we know and love from Toy Story. This Buzz is the character that toy is based on, within a movie. Buzz always wants to work alone, not accepting any help. Even though the job could be done better in a team. He must learn about this teamwork, after making a sacrifice of his own. He wants to make up for his mistake, believing he is the only one who can.
Izzy Hawthorne is a junior ranger on the planet, leading other recruits. Joining Buzz to save the planet from the invasion. She does have a connection to Buzz, one that will make her important to help. Living in the shadow of a great leader, Izzy is always out to prove herself, even if she is filled with doubt.
SOX is the therapy cat given to Buzz after the mission changes. Sent to help him with the troubles, it becomes the loyal sidekick on the mission. Using deadpan whenever it is going for something funny.
Zurg is the invader searching for what Buzz has. Taking over the planet, the great enemy of Buzz has a sinister motive.
A lot of talk about this movie came from replacing Tim Allen as the voice of Buzz. This is a major problem in this movie, while I can see the need to have a different voice within the movie. Chris Evans doesn’t bring very much to the voice that Allen added some much more too.
The story here is from a movie within the Toy Story galaxy. Following Buzz, the space ranger who wants to make up for his mistake, after leaving the crew marooned on the planet. He never wants to put anyone in danger, jumping headfirst. Needing to learn to work together to stop a bigger threat to the group.
Lightyear was always going to be a story that was put under the spotlight, because Toy Story is one of the most popular childhood movies. The story is easy enough to watch, it has a simple enough story. Following an unlikely group that must put aside their differences to save the day.
We do get a serious side to the story, one that will leave you thinking you are watching Interstellar. For the level you would have come to expect from Pixar, the story does fall short of the franchise. It could easily have been a new character in this world and not needed to rely on previous lines.
Lightyear is an animated movie that brings us into the Toy Story universe. Focusing on Buzz Lightyear and his adventure in space for the movie within the universe. The adventure on the planet, feels like it would have been a lot more interesting than the story Buzz goes through. Watching humans adapt to a new world, would have been fascinating. When we talk animation standard, we know we are going to have flawlessness from the team.
Final Thoughts –Lightyear is an easy to watch adventure, not up to the standards of the rest of the franchise.