Monday Movie: Toy Story 3 by @lexx2099

It's actually tempting to open this review by berating modern Hollywood for its lack of creativity. While other studios turn out teeth-grinding explofests like Transformers (steady on! - Ed), Pixar quietly carry out superlative work on films like Toy Story 3; probably the most effective and genuinely-touching meditation on the nature of relationships and - yep, even that old chestnut - mortality, we've seen in many a year. The film shines a pretty-harsh light on any number of 'grown-up' movies out there for their lack of weight in both the emotional heft and storytelling departments.

Oh, and it's sweet and funny too. Hit the jump to find out why...

Toy Story 3 may complete a trilogy that began an astonishing 15 years ago, but there's certainly no let up in the extraordinary imagination and technical prowess on show. There's also a strange, but entirely fitting, seam of melancholy that runs throughout; but it's still a funny, genuinely-entertaining movie for all the family. The gags come thick and fast - Buzz's 'Spanish' factory setting a particular highlight – but what really makes them work is that we actually care for these ridiculous chunks of plastic. Disney and Pixar pull off the near-impossible and make us all remember our favourite toys from childhood, and just how much they meant to us.

On to the plot, the film is a fantastic, fun and action-packed prison movie, with nods to just about every section of the genre you can think of. Great Escape-style tunnelling rubs shoulders with Alcatraz-esque vents, sirens and sweeping lights, setting up a series of ever-escalating and complex escape manoeuvres that thrill and amuse in equal measure.

That's not to say the film is entirely old fashioned, however, with a thread of Matrix-like metaphysics at work; particularly in an incredibly-tense trash-dump escapade. Trapped on a crushing conveyor belt and fast heading towards a furnace, the toys realise there's no escape. So, they bottle it up and hold hands, resolute about going out together. It's one of the scariest, and most-touching moments in the film, and a real tribute to the animators that they manage to cram so much emotion into those CGI faces. At this point, I genuinely thought the cast were going to perish; but their escape, when it comes, casts a striking light onto the importance of faith as well.

Ultimately, this is a fast and fun kid's film with an expected share of Pixar's usual adult-pleasing asides, and it works perfectly well if taken at face value. Ken and his dream house are hilarious, Buzz's aerial acrobatics are thrilling and Lots O' Huggin Bear's villainry is...well, genuinely affecting, actually, and shows the way that heartbreak and rejection can permanently affect a person (or toy)'s entire outlook on life. This is just too damn good a film to be relegated to entertaining the kids on a Saturday-morning while you do the housework. Watch it carefully, think about it and you'll discover it's one of the best films of the year.

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