Updated: Aug 14, 2022
If you haven't seen Lightyear, there be spoilers here, go watch it, seriously, its great, and anyone saying otherwise is high, so, watch it, and then come back. If you want me short review, then it's great, go watch it, shoo, oh and there are post credits, three of them! so sit through the entire credits if you want the whole thing.
Okay so I just came from watching Lightyear, and I must say, it was a fun experience to watch.
As, a text crawl in the beginning made clear, this was the movie that Andie liked and that the Buzz Lightyear toy in Toy Story one through three was based on.
When it started, it seemed like we were about to set out on a typical, run of the mill space adventure, with a Space Ranger and his comedic relief friend, and the Humor around events such as a Rookie Cadet being swallowed whole by a hostile vine from the planet they landed on, certainly suggested a more lighter tone.
Even when Buzz nicked the the Turnip(that's the name of the ship they came in, because it looked like a root vegetable) and crashed, I truly believed that this wasn't going to be something that would pull on my heart strings, boy was I wrong, when Buzz went off course, and lost four years of his life... damn.
Still, not too much right? But he was so, Laser focused on the mission that he just Kept going and going and going, and even though his friends kept growing older, had kids, they had grandkids, I guess some part of him was still in denial that things would ever change, until... his best friend dies of old age, god damnit movie, you pushed a button on the worst fear of every human, the fear of the passage of time, the fear of not being permanent.
Again, this isn't the first movie to do so, interstellar did the same, but why this hit so much more was because, again, of the shock in tone, I wasn't expecting this...
And so, when Future Buzz or Zurg comes up with a plan to time travel and change everything, get a second chance, obviously Buzz was on board with it at first, who wouldn't be? But I guess that's where the stakes come in, if you change the past, you change not just yours, but everyone's present, and with you the soul holder of any memory of any of that ever happening, can one ever truly carry that weight?
I guess that's what this movie is about, throughout Buzz is so single mindedly laser focused on his one goal of "The Mission" he just forgets everything else, and hence, looses the chance to have a life. So it's fitting that the Villain of this movie is a future version of himself, that let this side of him take control and lead him astray.
Yup! That's Zurg's back story here, gosh did I mention there be spoilers? Cause there be spoilers here.
I don't want to go over the entire plot of the movie, cause I don't believe it's necessary, and cause I know many of you idiots have read this far, even though I said there be spoilers, don't worry, if I was in your place, I would be the exact same idiot.
I just want to mention the best character ever in cinematic history, Sox the mechanical cat.
Not only is this cat a super-cute adorable ball of joy, he comes with a supplementary mouse, and is programmed to take care of you, a cat caretaker? More of that please. And, not just that, It is Sir Sox-a-lot, who figures out the key to building a hyperspace crystal, being cute and ador- I mean Science! Yes, Science, that's exactly what I meant.
And as if all of that isn't enough, if you ever find yourself in a corner, Sox will without a doubt, buy you five minutes.
Darn star command for ever wanting to decommission this adorable Feline, Monsters I tell you. How can you look into those adorable eyes and honest to god think of "decommissioning"? Even if its on orders.
Cat attac, Cat protec, but most importantly Cat buy you five minutes. Okay that did not Rhyme but whatever.
Okay now that that tangent is over, I must say all of the human side characters were amazing and well rounded, specially Izzy Hawthorne, the granddaughter of Alisha, Buzz's commander and friend. Which I must mention here, she was the best representation of a black Lesbian woman I have ever seen, cause it wasn't in your face, it wasn't out of place, it didn't pull me out of the movie, and not only that, the mention of her wife is necessary for the plot, cause if she hadn't gotten married and had a kid, who went on to have Izzy, one of the most major characters in the second half of the film, Izzy, who came up with the plan to destroy Zurg's ship and was instrumental in saving Buzz, would never have been born.
If any of you are confused, let me clear it for ya, Izzy is the biological granddaughter of Alisha Hawthorne, yes it is heavily implied, though never brought up, that Alisha got pregnant with her wife, We know this simply because we see Alisha pregnant with a kid post her marriage I mean its a sci fi movie, why not?
I wish more films would do such representation and not shove it in our face every time, cause not only does that bring us out of the movie, it makes being LGBTQIA+ come of as this extremely fantastical and sensationalized thing and not just as something, normal. Like I have LGBTQIA+ friends, I don't think of them as LGBTQIA+ friends, I think of them as friends, in the same way that they don't think of me as "straight friend" just friend, It's never brought up unless its relevant to the conversation we are having, its just another NORMAL thing, and I just wish media, both entertainment and news would treat it as such when it comes up in a movie. anyways.
Now, to get to the meat, did Lightyear do its Job?
well it had two Jobs: -
1, convince us the Audience that this is a movie Andie from toy story would have liked enough in his childhood to be super excited about getting a lightyear action figure.
2, be consistent to the back story that was established in the Toy story franchise.
Now, even one has two parts,
1a, be something Andy likes
2b, be from his childhood, i.e. 1995.
Now, 1a is fulfilled no questions, like, which kid wouldn't like a space movie about time travel and futuristic tech.
1b, well there is the obvious problem of that the movie looks too good animation wise to be from the 1990s, but you know we will give that a pass, but it would have been interesting certainly if it had gone the WandaVision route and dedicated itself to be in the older style of animation, but that's whatever, and also, while I appreciate good representation, I'm not sure we were that progressive in 1995 for this movie to have that much representation as it did, but then again, this isn't made in our 1995, its a movie in a movie universe, so that gets a pass too.
Coming to two, now there are some issues here, mainly, the plot of the movie right, why was it such a surprise for everyone when Buzz went forwards in time four years, wasn't this a known factor? wouldn't a space faring civilization like the one Buzz is a part of, account for that somehow? I believed that the first time dilations happened due to Buzz being off course unexpectedly, but the thing is, it happened again when Buzz did a successful trip, but you know whatever, it's meant to be a kids movie, its alright.
But then, and here's the kicker, Zurg being future Buzz was perfect for the plot of this movie, but as I said, it has to be consistent with the toy story franchise, and in that, it made fun of the famous "I am your father" scene from star wars, so Zurg is buzz himself but also his father? guess that's possible. But the movie did nothing, not even a passing line to explain it, but I guess that's okay as the post credit scenes show that Zurg is Alive, and this "I am your father" reveal came in toy story two, a fair bit after Toy story one where Buzz was said to be a new toy, so I guess there was enough time between movies for a sequel to come out where this is explained.
And it is also possible that that reveal just isn't true, as the toys don't have to be representatives of the actual characters, except the Buzz and Zurg toys are shown to believe that they are the real deal, guess it is still possible to waive off this backstory completely, but people will see it as a cop out.
My only disappointment in this movie is that it's not making much at the Box office, even the theatre I was at, played it in only one hall which was almost completely empty, what's wrong with people? maybe it just wasn't marketed well enough, who knows, hopefully this review will shift the scales a bit, no matter how little that might be.
Also, Disney overlords, if you can hear me, we got a glimpse of what a full Buzz Lightyear game might look like in one of the levels of toy story three the video game, can we finally get one now please? make it happen maybe?