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‘Lightyear’ review: Chris Evans Pixar film is satisfying

The main selling point is Chris Evans and KeKe Palmer.

Lightyear was not a film I was originally interested in, but when I learned Chris Evans was attached my ears perked. I’m a big fan of Evans as an actor and as a human being so if he’s in something I’m far more inclined to be interested. Chris Evans plus the diversity and representation the new Pixar film boasts sealed the deal for me. I’m very happy to report that in addition to both the lead and the beautiful diversity, the film itself is also satisfying. There’s a healthy amount of humor, suspenseful action sequences, and a whole lot of heart. This film does have it’s flaws and it’s not a 10, but this is for sure worth the price of admission.

'Lightyear' review: Chris Evans Pixar film is satisfying

The film’s main selling point is both Chris Evans and KeKe Palmer, the hero and sidekick if you will. Some folks were upset about Evans casting due to them thinking Tim Allen should have gotten the role since he was the original Buzz Lightyear. I don’t agree with this criticism for two reasons.

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One is simply that Allen has sort of aged out of the role and for an origin story like this I think going with someone younger is better. Secondly, Chris Evans is such a fine actor and just naturally fits the role in my opinion. His voice fits the role very well and he’s able to do so much with only his voice. Tim Allen just wouldn’t have been as good a fit as Evans is. Plus I like Chris Evans a whole lot better than Tim Allen so I’m happy!

I was also very happy with KeKe Palmer’s performance as Buzz’s main sidekick, Izzy. She has so much spunk and personality and she’s able to convey it with ease! In addition to the performances, these two characters are very well written too. Both Buzz and Izzy are so likable and give us two characters to really root for in this sci-fi adventure.

'Lightyear' review: Chris Evans Pixar film is satisfying

The supporting characters are, like the leads, well constructed. The character of Alisha, that’s mainly featured at the beginning of the film, is particularly good. The writers are able to convey so much with this character. Alisha provides the film with a lot of heart and also introduces some LGBTQ representation.

I’m sure you’ve heard all the bigoted outrage from conservatives about the same sex kiss in this film. This upsets me so much because it’s just so heartbreaking to see adults engaging in childlike bullying tactics against those who are different from them. But as a member of the LGBTQ community, I’m not shocked to see it.

In any case, I’m of course very happy about Disney and Pixar including our vibrant community in a major feature film. The relationship depicted between her and her wife is very sweet and I’m so glad young kids will see that love. At the end of the day either you believe in equality or you don’t, it’s really that simple.

'Lightyear' review: Chris Evans Pixar film is satisfying

The last “character” I must commend is the robotic cat “Sox”. This cat is actually a very cute and funny addition to the film and serves as an entertaining companion to Buzz. Most of the laughs at my screening were actually spurred from Sox which I kind of loved! The connection between these characters and the films heart really is the main selling point here, and I didn’t mind that at all. Yes, there are some thrilling action sequences to enjoy but the heartstrings do take precedent over that. Some may not care for that but I think it gives the film more impact.

The only real complaint I have about Lightyear is the fact that the main villain presented is rather weak and I feel that if that character was given a bit more time and was written in a more effective manner, the film would have gone from good to great. The voice work by James Brolin was very good but the character just wasn’t developed to the point it needed to be.

Lightyear is a satisfying animated family film thanks to the high quality characters and talented cast. There are some flaws but overall this is definitely worth a watch!


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