|Distributor:||20th Century Fox|
Enter a spectacular world of whimsy, fun and fantasy in this acclaimed visual extravaganza directed by Barry Levinson. Robin Williams stars as Leslie Zevo, a fun-loving adult who must save his late father’s toy factory from his evil uncle (Michael Gambon), a war-loving general who builds weapons disguised as toys. Aided by his sister (Joan Cusack) and girlfriend (Robin Wright), Leslie sets out to thwart his uncle and restore joy and innocence to their special world.
There are two reasons to see Toys: some phenomenal visual spectacle and the utterly adorable performance of Joan Cusack. The story: When the founder of the Zevo toy factory dies, he leaves it to his militaristic brother Leland (Michael Gambon) instead of to his whimsical son Leslie (Robin Williams). When Leland starts making war toys (and worse, actual weapons masquerading as toys), Leslie is forced to stop being capricious and take on some authority. Toys is supposedly about innocence and peace, but really it’s director Barry Levinson’s cry of anxiety about modern-day playthings, particularly video games—which is almost psychic of him, given how video games have started to devour the entertainment market. Fans of Williams will enjoy his performance; the visual design really is gorgeous; and Cusack, as Leslie’s sister Alsatia, is so lovely she almost carries the film through its muddled themes. Almost. —Bret Fetzer