Buzz Lightyear: our spoiler-free (adult) review of the return of our childhood hero

On June 22, 2022, Earthlings will be able to discover the new feature film from Disney and Pixar: Buzz Lightyear. Despite a refreshing positive atmosphere, the film unfortunately struggles to give relief to its characters. Our review in full, and without spoiler.

Toy Story accompanied my childhood and maybe yours too. This series of films made me laugh and cry many times and still brings me so many emotions in adulthood. When the movie is announced Buzz Lightning, which would feature not a toy but a “real” character, my curiosity was awakened, but also my mistrust. So when Numerama asked me to attend the preview and write a review, although I’m not a critical journalist, and even less a film journalist, I couldn’t miss this occasion.

So, what is this new animated film worth? Here are my impressions, free of any spoilers.

The first opus was released in 1996… We don’t get young. // Source: Disney

What relationship with the toy?

In the Pixar universe, this movie is supposed to be the one that came out in 1995. It was with this blockbuster that Toy Story kid Andy became a Buzz Lightyear fan. Yes it is very meta. The story is simple: Buzz Lightyear finds himself stuck on a planet with his crew and must find a solution in order to return to his planet. But over the course of the encounters, he learns that his only solution is to defeat the mysterious Zurg and his army of robots.

So we find ourselves in front of a science fiction film. Space Rangers, ship, laser guns, monsters, robots, planets to discover… everything is there. In addition, the film makes several nods to other films in the genre, such as Alien, Star Wars Where Dunes.

Who are these new characters?

Alisha Hawthorne, Buzz’s best friend, is a lesbian black woman. She is also the leader of the hero: she is a strong Space Ranger, a real role model. And his granddaughter, Izzy Hawthorne, is the second main character, accompanying Buzz on his mission and helping him overcome his insecurities. She is determined, but full of doubts. Of course, the film also offers us an adorable “animal” companion, a robot cat with feelings, Sox, which will sell very well in stores after the film’s release…

But in addition to being a great derivative product, Sox is endearing, funny and not at all annoying like the characters of its genre can be. He presents himself as the main character’s emotional support, but is also a great help in facing hardships.

Lightyear _ Official Trailer 2 2-4 screenshot
Izzy, Buzz and Sox. // Source: Disney

Nostalgia has a good back

It must be said, the screenplay of the film does not deserve the award for originality. But it is especially at the level of the characters, too stereotyped, that I was the most embarrassed.

There’s the experienced white man who still has so much to learn, accompanied by a vivacious but newbie black young woman who wants to prove that she is strong and deserves to carry on her grandmother’s name. mother. There is also a goofy old woman with a criminal record, a last man in the team who only serves to jeopardize the mission by his clumsiness… And of course, we need a new boss who puts impede the main character, preventing him from fulfilling his destiny.

Because of this lack of depth, I lacked empathy for these characters, not to mention the fact that you can guess very quickly what will happen to them.

Lightyear _ Official Trailer 2 1-58 screenshot (1)
A shock team, never seen before. // Source: Disney

A false pretext to play with nostalgia?

The “film within the film” is supposed to be released in 1995… but is nevertheless strangely very inclusive. This is certainly positive, and even welcome, for a 2022 film, but it creates a disconnect with the reality of the representation in 1995. This information is presented to us very simply by two lines of text at the beginning of the film and has a smell of a last-minute pretext to give the film a reason to exist. And then, no one will make me believe that Andy was a fan of this film… but didn’t have a Sox cat comforter, which would therefore have been present during the previous films!

Lightyear _ Official Trailer 2 1-52 screenshot
Personally, I buy it directly. // Source: Disney

But then, is it good, or not?

If I look back and ask my child version what I thought of this movie, all of those thoughts wouldn’t come to mind. I would say that I too want to become Space Rangers like Izzy and I would have liked to know if it was possible to travel to another planet. This is also what the children who played Space Rangers after the session must have thought too. Perhaps we should therefore leave aside the questions about the script and the place of the characters in a film “released” in 1995, in order to fully enjoy an amusing, sometimes even touching adventure? But one question remains: can the film have the same impact as Toy Story could have had on the public of the 2000s?

The verdict

Buzz Lightyear is a film that takes us a good moment. No more no less. It probably won’t have the same impact as the film series Toy Story and will soon be forgotten. But it will make young and old alike (well, especially the little ones) dream for just over an hour and will give you great ideas for a birthday or Christmas present, because… who doesn’t want a super cute Sox soft toy? .

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