Toy Story 4 Movie Review Rating: 4/5 Stars (Four stars)
Star Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Tony Hale, Madeleine McGraw
Director: Josh Cooley
What’s Good: It doesn’t beat around the bush to present itself as a sequel, there’s never a dull moment or unwanted pauses, does not take the melodramatic route to call it a day
What’s Bad: IT ENDS!
Loo Break: If you want a loo break in the 100 minutes of this film, “you’ve got a friend in a urologist”
Watch or Not?: Those who have seen the first three movies, you don’t even have to wait for my suggestion. Those who haven’t – please watch the first three first!
Very thoughtfully, Toy Story 4 starts playing with Pixar’s logo to delve us into the story. The introductory scene is set somewhere between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 when Bo Peep (Annie Potts) made a mysterious exit without any explanation. We get to know what happened and then moving to the proceedings happening after Toy Story 3. The veteran toys of Woody (Tom Hanks) are living with some already existing toys of Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) [to whom Andy gives his toys at the end of Toy Story 3]. Life has come full circle as Woody is left out in the toy drawer while Bonnie plays with other ‘new and interesting’ toys.
Bonnie’s first day at kindergarten and we all know which toy will accompany her to take this first baby-step – YEE HAW! There, Bonnie literally ‘makes’ a new friend, out of trash, and names her Forky (Tony Hale). Forky knows he’s trash and not a toy but is unaware about how much Bonnie loves him. Woody and team help him to realise this as they undergo a great adventure at an amusement park, where they reunite with peep-peep Bo Peep. Without revealing any interesting detail, yes, the climax will tear you up.
Toy Story 4 Movie Review: Script Analysis
John Lasseter (director of the Toy Story threequel) along with 7 other writers including Karen Filippelli (Rashida Jones) of The Office have penned the story for the film. It wrestles tough with the thought of being ‘just for the sake of it’ and ‘needless’ sequel. Thankfully, the new characters introduced in Forky, Ducky & Bunny, Gabby Gabby are way interesting than I expected. The humour just overpowers everything because of the constant gags throughout.
It’s lucky to be a part of the generation in which a franchise like ‘Toy Story’ came to the conclusion. The animation is so crisp, real & legit – it makes Toy Story 4 the best looking film to come out of Pixar universe (yes, the animation is better than the Incredibles 2). Patrick Lin and Jean-Claude Kalache’s camera captures every minuscule detail from the threads of the toys to the extravaganza of the amusement park. The film, apart from being emotionally & hilariously strong, is a visual spectacle.
Toy Story 4 Movie Review: Star Performance
I am ready to accept Tom Hanks in whatever form he comes. Woody has always been Hanks for us & he moves us in this finale too. Tim Allen as Buzz Light year gets a little bit overshadowed by the new toys but veterans will always remain veterans. Annie Potts as Bo Peep comes in as a delightful surprise and wonderfully binds in with the narrative rocking the chemistry with Woody.
Coming to the new characters, Tony Hale as Forky takes the cake. He’s the biggest takeaway from the film. While Keegan-Michael Key as Ducky and Jordan Peele as Bunny levels up to the lame humour. Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom has a couple of hilarious scenes making you think why he wasn’t a part of previous instalments. Christina Hendricks’ Gabby Gabby is a very interesting addition to the cast; it moulds the emotional quotient of it.
Toy Story 4 Movie Review: Direction, Music
This was Josh Cooley’s directorial debut and he totally gets the essence of Toy Story right. He holds the humourous crux of the story tight and as every Toy Story ever, leaves you thinking about how you should’ve retained your toys. Beautifully defining ‘lost toys’, Forky’s metaphorical approach to ‘trash’ and this has such a lot of Pixar-marked references.
Thankfully, the studio retains Randy Newman for the background score, who has previously done the music for all the three instalments. You’ve Got A Friend In Me brings back the goosebumps, while I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away is another gem & The Ballad Of The Lonesome Cowboy is situationally good.
The Last Words
All said and done, it’s finally ending! Was this required? Of course, yes. Though Toy Story 3 had the perfect ending, this gives us a flawless closure. Watch it with your kids & you’ll love it more than them!
Toy Story 4 releases on 21st June February 2019.
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