Daniel’s review published on Letterboxd:
Infinity and beyond. Buzz returns. Just not as many expected. So much was riding on this. With the fresh new and face voice behind an iconic character from a franchise loved by millions: this couldn't afford to fail.
Except it could afford to not succeed. And that might be worse. Even though it still is able to capture so much of the magic, wonder and charm that one would expect from a film based on a Buzz Lightyear toy.
Pixar rarely disappoint. When they do though. It does hurt. Because of the standards that have come to be expected. Especially with the talent and premise on this. It was hard to see it being anything less than great.
There is still so much to enjoy. Let's make that clear. One of the weaker films from Pixar in years. But it is still able to do numerous things right and entertain for most of the runtime. Even with some weird ideas.
Chris Evans is exceptional as Buzz. Hard sell initially. As the film proceeds though; he only improves; and brings his own charm to the character; without trying to copy Tim Allen; but there are some fun homages.
Rest of the cast are good. Nobody is underwhelming. Plenty of moments will have people tearing up. Most of this felt unearned to me though; as it makes some questionably bold decisions; and felt too restricting overall.
For a film about a Space Ranger. Especially with this Budget. It felt like there was never any moment this was taken advantage of. No impressive space scenes, nor much exciting action, most big moments fell very flat.
Not only that either. If this is intended as a film released in 1995. Never did it feel like one. Briefly at times maybe. More times than not; it felt like a modern animated blockbuster. And yes. I know it is. But it felt wrong.
With that said though: Pixar's animation keeps improving. This might have been their most beautiful film to date. It is a shame to miss this in the cinemas. As it would have looked incredible. So that is nice to see.
Many will love this. Plenty of others will hate it. Not the film we wanted. There is still something there to build upon. With a new and entertaining world. Colourful characters. And the infinity of space to be awaiting.