Lightyear review – a trudge through outer space

“At Pixar, we do sequels only when we come up with a great idea.” So said former Pixar head John Lasseter. And for a while, give or take Cars 2, the company adhered to this ethos, delivering remarkably consistent quality in their franchises. But there’s something precision-tooled and soulless about Lightyear, an aggressively adequate film which gives the sense that Pixar are, for once, just going through the motions. The film links back to the very first Toy Story, which starts with Andy thrilled to receive a Buzz Lightyear action figure for his birthday, merchandise from his favourite movie. And this, we are told, is that movie. It’s not a great idea, but it’s potentially a good one. However, the aspect that’s traditionally elevated Pixar animations, the dizzy wit and inventiveness of the screenplay, is missing from this dispiriting trudge through outer space, via some box-ticking messaging along the way. Space ranger Buzz (voiced by Chris Evans) is responsible for a crash which leaves his fellow crew members stranded on a hostile planet. He makes it his personal mission to fix the mess, while his colleagues are busy making lives for themselves. For a film which shoots for the stars, this is disappointingly pedestrian stuff.

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