Tom Hanks Project – “Toy Story 2” Review

13 Jul

Toy_Story_2_PosterTwenty-six movies into the Tom Hanks Project and we’re finally at Hanks’ first sequel. It also has the distinction of being the first movie I fell asleep during. We had both seen Toy Story 2 about a decade ago, remembered it fondly, and were looking forward to it after enjoying the original so much a couple months ago. Well, this is an unpopular opinion, considering the movie has a perfect 100 on Rotten Tomatoes, but we didn’t care for Toy Story 2. It wasn’t bad per say*. There have certainly been worse sequels. But as fresh and new as Toy Story 1 felt, the first sequel is just more of the same with lower stakes and less laughs. We didn’t really dislike it until the credits**, but by that point I was actively booing and giving the screen the finger.

*I’d say it was. Woof.

**I dislike the cowgirl, Jessie. Not. a. fan.Toy-Story-s2In the first movie, Woody and friends are worried about being replaced by shiny, new Buzz Lightyear. In part 2, Woody is left behind by Andy as he heads off to Cowboy camp, because Woody’s arm is falling off his body. While Andy’s away at camp, his mom lets a Penguin with a broken squeaker be sold in a yard sale. Woody bravely saves Squeak from being sold, but gets stolen by Toy Collector (Wayne Knight) in the process. Woody is introduced to the other toys he “belongs with” from the 1950’s cartoon he was the star of. We’re introduced to his new/old friend, Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl, voiced by Joan Cusack (a fine actress with a terribly annoying voice who makes this movie significantly worse*) and Stinky Pete the Prospector (played by a creepier than ever Kelsey Grammar).** There’s also a horse, who’s cute but doesn’t say much. So, Woody’s with this new gang and is set to be sent to a toy museum in Japan. He has mixed feelings about it. The toys all miss him and want him back. There’s the usual going through the motions where the toys try to make it home, and, guess what, they do.

*Truly, truly worse. Her voice is about as grating as you can imagine.

**The credits killed this character for me…although he was already pretty creepy. Just, yuck.

Toy-Story-2--pixar-67376_1024_768

Let’s say Jessie is Toy Story 2 and Woody’s reaction is us watching it.

Laugh out Loud: Zack: 37 Caitlin: 47 It was significantly less funny than the first one. We found the original to be adorable at every turn, with little in jokes and broad comedy mixed in together expertly. This one found the right tone far less often. We kept passing the sheet back and forth because neither of us felt like writing down the pity laughs we had. For continuity, we laughed 72 and 87 times at the original. I really have nothing to add. This movie is probably funny to children (lots of fart jokes) but it had very little to offer adults. It tried to make an “adult” joke at the end of the movie in the fake blooper reel, and that was the thing that has left the worst taste in my mouth, because it was basically Prospector Pete trying to hit on super young Barbie dolls. DISGUSTING.

Comedy: Zack: 5 Caitlin: 4 I hated, hated, hated the “bloopers” at the end. I enjoy bloopers more than most people, but the idea of cartoon bloopers angers me to no end. It’s so lazy and ploying. I had very few genuine laughs in this one and got sick of even writing them down. We found Jessie maddeningly annoying and found most of the interactions between toys I previously loved to already feel old hat. I can’t even remember what I laughed at in this movie.

Cry/Eye Cover: 0 for both. Not even close. They tried to get us with Sarah McLachlan, but even she couldn’t bring a tear to my eye.

Romantic interest: Zack: N/A Caitlin: 4 There are two very brief moments with Bo Peep where they’re cutesy with each other, but not enough to call this a romance in part two. I’m surprised Zack went “N/A” because in the beginning of the film, during a particularly sweet Bo Peep/Woody moment, he turned to me and said, “Oooh maybe some actual romance in this one!” I think there was an attempt, but it was lazy as HELL. They tried to establish that Woody was always going to be with Bo Peep in the beginning so they can pass Jessie off to Buzz Lightyear at the end. Because I guess everyone has to be paired up in a heterosexual relationship for some reason? #laziness

Hanks: Zack: 8.5 Caitlin: 8.6 Hanks is still great with the voice work, even if we didn’t care for the movie. He gets to sing. He gets to play a conflicted character with lots of voice modulation and gets a lot of emotion across. The true test I usually give for rating Hanks in a movie I didn’t love, is “could he save it?” In this case, it made the movie watchable and at times enjoyable, but ultimately not one I enjoyed. There is definitely a lot more Hanks in this film, which is certainly nice. But I agree — even his true-friendship kindness just didn’t help me to fall in love with this film.

Movie: Zack: 5.5 Caitlin: 5.0 I don’t understand why this movie is so universally loved. Without the novelty of being fresh and new, it better be funnier, faster and more developed than the original with higher stakes. It’s none of these things. I was entirely bored. Even though it had been a long time since I’d seen it and I forgot a lot of the plot, I simply didn’t care. I disliked almost all of the new characters and didn’t feel much strengthening of the old ones. In the first movie we were surprised how much we liked Buzz Lightyear, by this one we were like, OK, enough Tim Allen. I can’t see us re-watching this any time soon for any reason. Tim Allen’s voice started grating on me by the end of the film, maybe because there are two Buzz Lightyears in this film? Who knows. It’s awful. I am going to chalk up an especially low rating from me to the fact that we just watched the Perfect Ten that is You’ve Got Mail. Tell you what — just skip this one and go watch You’ve Got Mail again. You are welcome.

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2 Responses to “Tom Hanks Project – “Toy Story 2” Review”

  1. tapeparade August 25, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    I love Toy Story 2!!!!! I hated Jessie as a kid but she’s really grown on me now… also I am so behind on your Tom Hanks project, I need to have a Tom Hanks binge and re-watch everything. Haven’t seen You’ve Got Mail in about 12 years so clearly need to rememdy that… hope you guys are both well xxx

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