Lightyear

Lightyear ★★

I don't know if I would definitively declare this as Pixar's worst film (I still haven't seen Brave, The Good Dinosaur, or Cars 3), but from all the ones I have seen, this one easily takes the crown. Just the blandest, safest, piece-of-nothing animated film I've seen in quite a while – ironic when you remember the titular character's signature motto.

The most irritating thing about this film is just how conceptually broken this film is. Literally, the framing device makes absolutely no sense, whatsoever. According to the opening text, this is supposed to be the film that Andy saw in theaters in 1995 and inspired him to buy a Buzz toy. This is laughable for three reasons: 1) the idea that the film we're watching was made in 1995 is a headscratcher at best. Every aspect of this film is drenched in 2022 filmmaking sensibilities immediately break that immersion, playing less like an homage to cheesy space operas and more like a gritty modern reboot. 2). If I were Andy, no way in hell would I ever want to buy a toy for the uninteresting, unlikeable Buzz portrayed in the film when I would rather buy a Sox toy instead. 3). What is even the point of this film when the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command direct-to-video film and cartoon series from the early 2000s already exists? Like, why even bother?

Honestly, if they had just removed that opening text, I would maybe be more forgiving with my grade for this film. I realize a lot of my gripes in this review hinge on one nitpick, but that one nitpick opens up a whole can of worms that reframes the experience and immediately cuts the film at its knees. Although, being a forgettable bore on its own merits doesn't help much either. I dunno man, there aren't too many positives worth noting here, other than decent animation and Sox getting a few decent laughs out of me. Not godawful, but nothing spectacular, either. Truly, it's difficult to imagine anyone around Andy's age being over the moon about a film so limited in its imaginative scope.

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