Luke Thorne’s review published on Letterboxd:
Angus MacLane's animated science-fiction action adventure in which Buzz Lightyear meets an army of evil robots commanded by Zurg who are trying to take away his fuel source.
Lightyear is the spin-off to the Toy Story franchise and the fifth instalment overall in the series.
I think it is safe to say that expectations were high for this film. considering how excellent the whole Toy Story series is.
However, while Lightyear is not a disaster, it certainly isn't as enjoyable as the four Toy Story movies.
The story concerns really well-known space ranger Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans) who goes on an intergalactic adventure alongside ambitious recruits Izzy (Keke Palmer), Mo (Taika Waititi), Darby (Dale Soules), and his robot assistant cat, Sox (Peter Sohn).
As this motley group takes on their most difficult assignment to date, they are forced to learn to team up together as a gang to get away from the nasty Zurg and his dutiful robot military that are on no occasion far behind.
Chris Evans - replacing Tim Allen - gives a good voice performance in his role as the title character who has to be careful with himself while taking on the mission, while Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules and Peter Sohn are all fine in their respective parts as Buzz's gang helping him out with the task.
Elsewhere, James Brolin is decent in his voice role as Zurg, the person in charge of the robot army who is not a likeable character.
The direction from MacLane is good because he allows the facial expressions to be seen to a strong effect throughout, while also keeping a mixed atmosphere happening as well and the script is written to a decent-enough standard by the director and Jason Headley.
I say decent-enough, because there are some scenes that did not need to be in the final edit, so the duration didn’t need to be as long as it was and as a result it makes the pace slow.
The camera stands out best in terms of the technical aspects, because it makes good use of the locations and also captures the tense and dramatic moments well, which get the edge-of-the-seat status.
Overall, Lightyear has good voice performances, direction and tension, but the sometimes-weak script, slow pace and long duration does make it forgettable at the same time.