Movie #59 2022: Lightyear (2022)

Once again, I feel like I’m missing something. Although the current audience score on Rotten Tomatoes sits at 85%, it feels as though every review I see for Lightyear is largely negative. No, it’s not Toy Story. But I don’t think it was ever meant to be Toy Story. Even Mark Kermode said this movie was ‘devoid of heart’ and had no humorous elements to it… Lucky for me, I often disagree with Dr. Kermode anyway, so what’s new?

Pixar explain everything in the opening 30 seconds with something along the following lines:

“In 1995, a boy named Andy got a Buzz Lightyear toy for his birthday. It was from his favourite movie. This is that movie.”

And there we have it: now we all understand the premise. Armed with his robot cat companion, Buzz Lightyear travels through time and space to return his friends back to their home planet.

Basically, they should have named it Swiss Army Cat. Heh, see what I did there? Okay, maybe you have to see the movie to get the joke…

Anyway, as I’ve already pondered: am I missing something? I seem to be one of the very few people who actually quite enjoyed this movie. Again, if you go into it expecting Toy Story, there’s no doubt you’ll be disappointed. Instead of a standard Pixar movie, Lightyear is more like “Pixar-for-adults”; rather than being chiefly “for kids”, it is rather a movie that was created to please the grown-ups who are now nostalgic for 1995 and Buzz is the perfect character to achieve that. 

Visually, the colour palette and tones are very much muted in accordance with the more serious subject matter at hand. However, there’s a lot to like about the way this movie looks. The space sequences are particularly fun to watch, but some of it is rather dark at times, I will admit. 

Some have negated Lightyear for the consistently speedy pace it goes at, and some have claimed that they’ve even found it hard to follow. My question is simply: how? It’s really quite simple if you actually pay attention… I’m not trying to sleight anyone either, but there are no plot points that feel confusing. Arguing that the movie is too fast-paced just doesn’t sit right with me.

In fact, the only issue I had with the plot was that it did drag itself on for too long. Yes, it covered a lot and with a fair amount of humour along the way (you heard me, Kermode), but I really wish it was 10-15 minutes shorter. Despite that, it feels as though Lightyear is receiving unnecessarily negative vibes. It’ll get none of that from me. It’s a delightful film – just because it’s not Pixar’s absolute best, it doesn’t mean that it’s not a worth a watch.

Oh, and Uzo Aduba is still great.

Lightyear is currently screening in most cinemas across the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

Performance: 
Cinematography: 
Soundtrack: 
Costume & Set Design: 
Plot: 
Overall Enjoyability Rating: ½

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