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 fro... more »m 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.« less
Teresa D. from TORRINGTON, CT Reviewed on 9/15/2012...
I liked this film.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
This is one you experience, not watch.
Timothy Karlberg | Minneapolis, MN | 02/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If some songs are enjoyable more on account of their phonic sound than the actual melody they offer, then Toys likewise, is a film that can be enjoyed more for its sheer imagery than for its none-too-profound storyline. As many critics--even the adoring ones--will tell you, this movie won't be remembered on the strength of its plot. It's an uncomplicated (if also a little thematically-preachy) story of youthful innocense, big-bully intimidation, and then conclusively, of victorious, passive retaliation. And they're all worthy concepts. However, Barry Levinson doesn't make his audiences mull them over during the movie. To the contrary, it's rather difficult to ponder much of anything in light of the devastatingly gorgeous scenery, the brilliantly simple contraptions, and the fairytale-like quality of the characters.If ever there was a celluloid catalyst for shattering actor typecasts, this was it. Robin Williams' performance reveals a mostly unfamiliar vulnerable sincerity that, frankly, creeped me out a couple times throughout the story. Similarly, you have Joan Cusack at her most delicate and gently-spoken (with exception of course to the laughable observation she makes in regards to war being "the domain of a small..." so on and so forth). L.L. Cool J competently delivers the role of a convincingly clean, wholesome, family-valued military man caught between the warring factions of his own family, represented by a hawk (his own father, played by the appropriately casted Michael Gambon) and the dove (a perpetually juvenile Williams). Robin Wright Penn isn't given much of a stage in Toys, and consequently her performance is less than striking here. But to her credit, she nurses a few otherwise-forgettable scenes (particularly the overtly ad-libbed cafeteria scene with Williams) back to life with her disarming laugh and sincere attention.The trivia fanatics will keenly spot the underutilized, but aptly included cameos of Yeardly Smith and Jamie Foxx.I'm not a big movie fan, in fact I rent/buy movies reluctantly. But this one captivated me from square one and it's a hard one to let go of. Incidentally, I highly recommend the soundtrack. It's a musical revelation that does great honor to the film (with an outstanding and uncredited brief performance by the incomparable Seal).Chances are, anyone who's reading these reviews has already seen the movie; it's not a film that is naturally attracting new audiences this long after its making. However, I'm convinced this was due in monster proportions to the lack of popular exposure that Toys received, both initially in theaters and subsequently in it's video/DVD release. I, for one, happened to see Toys only by dumb luck, and have been grateful for walking into the theater ever since. But the minimal promotion that was afforded to Toys is all right by me. This is one cinematic secret I'm happy to be in on."
Thank God for the Imagination!
Tom | Warrington, United Kingdom | 11/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is very difficult to believe this film is celebrating its 10th anniversary. TOYS was released in 1992 when I was seven, and I'm still devastated I never got to see the fantastic visuals and hear the utterly warped (yet fantastic) soundtrack ... ah well. This is unequovically my all time favourite film. I can see why TOYS generated such a lot of negative press. 20th Century Fox indeed took a gamble with Barry Levison's pet project and commisioned an enormous (even by today's standards) $80 million budget ... Sadly, it didn't carry the mainstream flag of "big guns, girls and perfunctory screenplay", and hence pulled in a dissapointing $21 million in the USA. Like the controversial Bond film "Licence To Kill", age has proved kinder to this film. I won't go to explain the backbone of the story, as many reviewers have done this already, but I will say, no matter what age you are, there is some mystical magic about TOYS that refuses to subside no matter how much you try and dislike it. Robin Williams gives a typically aloof and sensitive performance (note the similarities to him in Hook), and the support is fantastic. Joan Cusack, Michael Gambon, LL Cool J & Robin Wight Penn all deliver great performances also. Hans Zimmer (Gladiator, Thelma & Louise, Hannibal) gives us a slightly militaristic score and the production design was more than Oscar material.The real deal though is how all these elements combine to make a dizzying comical farce that is intertwined with a real human backstory. In these modern times, when the world is as uncertain as it has ever been .. it's very comforting to see the subtle anti-war critique that oozes from Robin Williams performance. The pyrotechnic - heavy ending combined with the Frankie Goes To Hollywood tune is sheer masterpiece of NON MAINSTREAM Hollywood. The symbolism really rings out here, a chill still goes down my spine when the bear gets destroyed, and another comes over, as if trying to fix it. However, the Sea Swine is slightly disturbing ...As the film wasn't a huge financial success, wasn't a "re-imagining" of a better film, and didn't feature lightsabers, Fox has made next to no effort with the DVD. A good quality 1.85:1 anamorphic print brings the scenery to life with a lot more feel than VHS, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 track is well mixed (it should be as it was re-recorded in George Lucas' THX theater) but that's as far as it really goes. Fox includes a woeful featurette that is nothing more than an extended trailer, and the theatrical trailer to round things off. I do hope someday one of these clever DVD production houses, like Criterion do one of their ultimate editions with this film, as how it is made and what is says warrants more than Fox has done here.If you're still awake and have read this far ... go and buy one of cinema's most influencial anti war pieces! If you have an imagination, you'll agree you never have, nor will, see anything like it ever again."
I liked it....
Michael H. Moore | World Traveler | 11/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was quite surprised to see 48 reviews for this obscure movie. I know it is a "love it or hate it" film, but I have to admit I am in the former group. I first saw this movie while spending the night in a hotel in Garmisch, Germany; and I was so drawn into it I put off dinner (hard for me to do with the excellent food in Germany) until it was over. I can understand why a lot of people are disappointed with this movie, it isn't the normal Robin Williams performance. If you are expecting 'Mork and Mindy' then go rent 'Mrs Doubtfire.' I am sure some are appalled over the fact that there is a message in this movie as well, we want to see robin act like the clown prince, not tell us that violent toys are bad! However, if you can get past those two points, you are in for one of the best abstract movies of the past decade. I am glad a majority of the reviews are in favor of this movie, it may not have made a lot of money at the box office but it is cinematic art."
Brian Duffy | USA | 05/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robin Williams adds charm to any movie hes in. TOYS is no exception. The sets are surreal, the music is hip and original, and the cast is well selected. Joan Cusack, LL Cool J doing what he should be instead of signing, and others. The movie is rather deep in theme as it tells the story of good against evil. However, knee-slapping humor is impecably weaved through every potentially boring scene. A lover of poetic justice and plain old fun movies will enjoy TOYS."
Joan Cusack Is a Wonder To Behold InThis Role...
Brian Duffy | 01/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Toys is along the lines of a movie made for young ones, but far different than any movies of the sort I knew of growing up. 'Toys' lights up the screen with thoughts that have to go through every kids mind opening a toy tank on Christmas..imagining it blowing up his little sister's doll. The movie adds a harmless wartime effect, fantastic special effects and embraceable performances by the cast. Robin Williams turns child-appealing roles to gold with his quick wit and arsenal of a thousand voices. Joan Cusack is sweet and adorable as Williams' robot sister, giving her beautiful smile and few jumbled words as your biggest reason to get this movie. I think what theatres these days need is less graphic and obscene teenage trash acting, and more movies that combine well respected big names on the acting scene and good ideas. Ideas that are so good they can make a movie appeal to all ages like 'Toys'...if some movie writers took their time they could make a good movie, not follow a popular, always discriminating trend. 'Toys' is a flashy, cute and smart rollercoaster ride that you HAVE to see to know how sweet Joan Cusack's role of Alsatia is."