rcoberle54’s review published on Letterboxd:
I really wanted to like this movie but I felt it really missed the mark. I thought the action was kind of fun and I really enjoyed the overall aesthetic and design of the world and suits and robots. The animation is superb and incredibly well done. But the story and movie itself was just never that exciting, captivating, thrilling, or satisfying in any way.
I thought the voice acting was good but all the humor fell flat and my boy Taika was completely wasted. I suppose it has a nice little arc for our titular hero but I never got the sense this was the Star Wars-y space adventure action flick a 90s kid like Andy would watch and then want the action figure of. I thought that 90s straight to vhs Buzz Lightyear of Star Commmand movie was a much better representation of what I expect the Buzz lore and vibe to be. To me that's something that captures the imagination of a 90s kid that likes superheros and sci fi. I know this because I was that kid and I loved that shit as a kid. I'm still that kid and this didn't particularly work for me but maybe kids of today will love this.
I did like that the story took some unexpected and surprising turns. I went into this pretty much blind and had no idea what the story really was. I feel that as the movie's credits begin to roll we've finally worked our way up to the Buzz that a 90s kid would want the action figure for but I feel like whatever sequel comes next would be the one to really sell toys.
It's not a mess. It looks great. But this more grounded sci fi approach I felt didn't particularly work for Buzz. I think he's more suited for a Star Wars, Flash Gordon, He-Man type approach. This felt more Star Trek or Halo in a way. Maybe the sequel will be more space adventure-y.
Some final thoughts. Not sure how I feel about Zurg in this one. Disney has the passive progressive balls to have a biracial lesbian kiss but not the balls to kill the red shirt in the beginning. I never really thought about it until this movie but the Buzz lore is kind of a mix between Star Wars and Star Trek. That's kinda neat. At least it was until this movie. The grounded approach really took the Star Wars influence and inspiration out of Buzz this time.