Complete A-Z list



Stars: Voices: Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Uzo Aduba, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, James Brolin, Bill Hader

Director: Angus MacLane

This spin-off from the character originally seen in the Toy Story movies is a crushing disappointment. Space ranger/pilot Buzz Lightyear (Evans) crashes his spaceship - containing a cargo of scientists in travel-pods - on an unknown planet, where hostile vegetation and lethal giant inspects nearly do for him and his commander, Hawthorne (Aduba).

Vowing to achieve the required 100 per cent hyperspeed required to complete a rescue mission and send everyone home, Buzz sets off on a (failed) test flight, returning hours later to find that four years have passed on the planet. Hawthorne sees that he is given all the required updates, plus a robot cat, Sox (Sohn), who can perform any service - the tail-tip proves useful at generating electric wizardry - and told to continue the hyperspeed tests.

Hours (years) of failures go by and people grow old (and in some cases die) until one day, Lightyear is told it's over. The scientists and their descendants have built a huge dome over the city they constructed - to keep out all hostiles. Buzz finds himself landed with three 'drop-outs' including the granddaughter (Palmer) of the now-deceased Hawthorne, who had adopted children with her female partner. Told to 'terminate' Sox, Buzz grabs the cat and escapes, determined on one last attempt to complete the mission.

The film is quite unsuitable for younger children, mainly because of its mass of sci-fi mumbo jumbo, which soon lost me, along with the rudimentary plot. The two 4/5 year-olds who attended my screening were clearly disinterested from the start, pausing only to ask their father why the two ladies were kissing. Good luck with explaining that one, dad. Seriously, though, it is grown-up of Disney to include the lesbian theme, although perhaps unwise of them to cock a snook at touchy Asian distributors, who will probably take chunks out of their film.

Sadly, the cat is the only interesting feature of a picture whose characters resolutely refuse to spring to life or interest us in their destinies. And the plot, or at least the parts you can understand, is as old hat as they come with Lightyear encountering his own father (Brolin) in its latter stages. There are two scenes towards, and at the end of the credits, one amusing, the other foreshadowing (God forbid) a sequel. Not Pixar's finest hour; on to the naughty step, fellas - must do better. Much of this one bored the Sox off me.

David Quinlan

USA 2022. UK Distributor: Disney. Colour (unspecified).
104 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 17 Jun 2022