Chris Evans goes beyond infinity: 'Lightyear' review

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Chris Evans goes beyond infinity: 'Lightyear' review
Buzz Lightyear in Pixar's newest movie "Lightyear"

MANILA, Philippines — Almost 30 years ago, the world witnessed a young boy named Andy get a new space ranger toy for his birthday. The toy was inspired by his favorite movie, and "Lightyear" is that very movie.

Disney is quite aware of the immense power that Pixar has among all its catalogues. It was there before the Marvel Cinematic Universe came into the fold, and at the start of it all was the successful "Toy Story" which has since spawned three as successful sequels.

One almost cannot blame Disney-Pixar to cash in on an opportunity to tell the story of space ranger Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, so they put in a lot of chips (with many to spare) to do just that.

To be clear, "Lightyear" is about the movie that inspired the toy famously voiced by Tim Allen. Pixar's new film sees "Captain America" star Chris Evans as the voice of Buzz, repeating many of the catchphrases we've grown to love.

Buzz and his colleagues from Star Command end up stranded on a planet and are trying to find the correct process to achieve hyper-speed, where of course, Buzz is the willing pilot to test each run.

The attempts thrust Buzz into the future, where the community is now under siege by robots that serve Zurg (whom "Toy Story" fans will know very well) and Buzz must decide how will he be able to save everyone with several things holding him back, including himself.

Related: 'Lightyear', animated film with lesbian kiss, banned in UAE

Evans does a very good job of portraying a stubborn Buzz who only wishes to do his duty as best he can — it's exactly the kind of attitude that would reflect in Tim Allen's Buzz and soon go on a character arc spanning four films.

But Buzz isn't the stand-out character in his own movie; many would agree it is his robotic feline sidekick Sox voiced by Peter Sohn, a Pixar veteran who worked on "Ratatouille," "The Good Dinosaur," and "Monsters University" — think Baymax but with such good deadpan delivery, that's Sox.

In fact, the entire cast is enjoyable, from Keke Palmer's spunky and a hilarious Taika Waititi as Mo, to Uzo Aduba's Alisha Hawthorne, Buzz's commanding officer and best friend who inspires the film's most touching scenes.

Many will point to this as another cash-grab attempt by Disney, which isn't far off, but at least Buzz's character is treated very well as if he would really turn out to be the toy Andy would soon desire and own.

Buzz isn't a perfect person and that's what made many people adore him. The same may be said about "Lightyear," which has many imperfections but makes up for it in homages to the Pixar and sci-fi movies that came before it.

The animation is again top-notch, with beautiful visuals on a different spectrum of Pixar's imaginative vision of space as it had done for "WALL-E" and "Soul," all set to a fancy score by Michael Giacchino.

As a whole, "Lightyear" is a fun ride that respects the "Toy Story" franchise while finding its ground to be both a framework and a continuation of what Pixar can do and has always done for kids and adults of all ages.

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