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‘Lightyear’ trades infinity and beyond for imbalance and boredom

‘Lightyear’ trades infinity and beyond for imbalance and boredom

‘Lightyear’ trades infinity and beyond for imbalance and boredom
June 23
15:00 2022

After the “Toy Story” franchise took a giant leap for mankind, Disney and Pixar took a small step for themselves. The newest addition to Pixar’s impressive filmography has landed in theaters everywhere, but not without some turbulence.

“Lightyear” feels like the safest movie to come out this year, taking virtually no risks and keeping it simple. There was an infinite amount of space to discover this new world and its characters. However, sometimes you need more than nostalgia to get something like “Lightyear” up in the air.

Trying to right a massive wrong, Buzz Lightyear finds himself stuck in the future. He meets new friends and enemies which force him to stray away from his selfish mentality. When one specific “Big Bad” tries to alter Lightyear’s plans for good, it’s up to newfound teamwork to save the day.

There was no one better to take on voicing an over-the-top action hero than Chris Evans. He trades in his shield for space in this film, and his Buzz Lightyear was a lot of fun. There was this fine line between corny and serious, which was well-balanced from beginning to end.

Watching Keke Palmer and Taika Waititi get in on the fun was great to see. The voice acting in Pixar movies will always be the best of the best. There should always be appreciation shown towards one of the most underappreciated professions in the industry.

“Lightyear” is the film Andy from “Toy Story” saw, which led to him falling in love with the Buzz Lightyear toy. It surely is a mouthful, but watching the movie from that perspective was a lot of fun.

There were so many instances where the cheesiness was turned all the way up. Since this movie is set decades in the past, it absolutely works. After all, it is a movie for kids.

The movie checked all the possible boxes, but that is where the main problem lies. It didn’t do much outside of what was expected. The film was going to pull in kids and their parents, regardless of if it was good or bad. “Lightyear” was hoping to use some additional nostalgia points to pull in young adults.

Anyone college-aged may be familiar with “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” a staple for Saturday morning cartoons. The series was a perfect blueprint for how to approach a movie like this – even more so if the young adult crowd was a top priority.

You would expect all kinds of species and lifeforms to show up throughout the movie. Instead, everything feels so small. As frustrating as it is, a lot of it is just expectations set too high.

Pixar has tiptoed into the blockbuster territory before with “Incredibles 2.” “Lightyear” just confirms these films work best when the stories are unique and emotionally driven. The only emotions felt during this film were the little sparks of joy when “Toy Story” was referenced.

It all just feels so formulaic and safe. There were countless routes this movie could have taken, but it settled for what was easiest.

It’s important to mention four Pixar movies have come out since the pandemic started. “Lightyear” is the first to get an exclusive theatrical release.

“Soul” came out during the pandemic’s peak, so it was best suited for a streaming service. “Luca” and “Turning Red” would have been amazing trips to the movie theater. Disney and Pixar put all their confidence in the nostalgia-pumped space adventure, which is unfortunate. If any of the four films belong on a streaming service, it’s “Lightyear.”

It was fine, but it was just fine. This is definitely one of the prettiest Pixar films to date. It is nice to see the bar constantly getting raised for jaw-dropping animation.

“Lightyear” even manages to sneak in three post-credit scenes. None of which were a set up toward a western about Woody the cowboy.

With a balance of good and bad qualities, there still isn’t much to say about “Lightyear.” Stunning visuals and a wonky plot make for a summer blockbuster sure to be falling with style.

Jaden’s Rating: 3/5

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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