Film Reviews: Crescendo that closes the toy box of wonders

TOY STORY 4 (U)

Monday, 3rd June 2019, 1:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 12:55 pm
Toy Story 4.

How do you improve on the perfection of Toy Story 3, which bade a moving farewell to Woody the cowboy (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the other denizens of Andy's childhood?

Oscar-winning computer animation studio Disney Pixar comes tantalisingly close with a belated rip-roaring fourth instalment that will have parents dabbing at their eyes with sodden handkerchiefs.

Director Josh Cooley's hare-brained rescue mission was always going to disappoint after the note perfect resolution to the third film.

The fractious central relationship between Woody and Buzz, which stretches back almost 25 cinema-going years, reaches a gorgeous, heart-rending crescendo that closes this toy box of wonders with a soft and satisfying emotional thud.

MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL (12A)

In the lyrics to Will Smith's Grammy Award-winning song Men In Black, the Fresh Prince raps, "We're your first, last and only line of defence against the worst scum of the universe. So don't fear us, cheer us..."

Regrettably, there's little to fear and almost nothing to cheer in the faltering fourth instalment of a franchise which has lain dormant since Smith and Tommy Lee Jones relinquished their neutralisers as Agents J and K in 2012.

Liam Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson - take up the mantle as sharply-suited protectors of our digitally-rendered galaxy, and grimly accept the Herculean task of emulating the rat-a-tat banter of their predecessors.Men In Black: International repeatedly shoots blanks and relies on sporadic laughs from Kumail Nanjiani as the voice of a miniature alien called Pawny, whose delightfully deadpan delivery incorporates pop culture riffs on Kanye West and tear-jerking rom ance The Notebook.