Toy Story 4 **
When a new toy called "Forky" joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.
More of an epilogue than a final chapter for one of cinema’s incomparable series of films, acutely calling into question various epistemological understandings of a happy life, including applicable loyalty, childless marriages and the meaning behind sentience itself. But there are two major problems here: 1) Pixar – who at their best, insist on and sustain unusually high standards of sequence-by-sequence dramatic storytelling, and at their worst are dispiritedly defensive and/or misleading about said standards – have by this point covered so much ground concerning the existential perplexities of aging, mortality and being a parent/child that the cliché now writes itself. The emotional beats, right up to and including the expected bittersweet revelation, have now become calculable. And 2) None of this introspection harmonizes very well with the plot. There are essentially three stories here, strung together by a (typical) rescue-mission scenario that is far too slight to muster the angst that was clearly intended. Ergo, when the conclusion arrives, what should be displays of sentiment become displays of sentimentality. It’s all perfectly lovely but in an age when sequelitis is kicking the life out of the artform, this one never manages to lose the air of cumbrous inconsequentiality.
d – Josh Cooley
w – John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Josh Cooley, Valerie LaPointe, Stephany Folsom, Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, Martin Hynes
ph – Patrick Lin, Jean-Claude Kalache
pd – Bob Pauley
m – Randy Newman
ed – Axel Geddes
p – Mark Nielson, Jonas Rivera
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Madeleine McGraw, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Ally Maki, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, Joan Cusack, Bonnie Hunt, Kristen Schaal, Emily Davis, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, June Squibb, Carl Weathers, Lila Sage Bromley, Don Rickles, Jeff Garlin, Estelle Harris, Laurie Metcalf, Mel Brooks, Alan Oppenheimer, Carol Burnett, Betty White, Carl Reiner, Bill Hader, Patricia Arquette, Timothy Dalton