Sometimes you just have to love a movie for its ridiculousness. Someone had the balls to make it, and that deserves some kind of appreciation, even if it’s out of pity. Toys is a movie like that. I love this movie and I can’t tell you why. It’s strange and a little incoherent but it commits. Everyone is on board and, like singing Smashmouth’s “All Star” at a party, peer pressure and easy amusement gets the better of you and you join in.
Toys is the story of Leslie Zevo (Robin Williams), who’s carefree life is thrown off course when his father dies, leaving the Zevo Toy factory to his military general uncle Leland (Michael Gambon) who is secretly using the factory to mass produce kid-operated weaponry. Yes, I kid you not; this is the plot. Just go with it.
The movie is just 90s-tastic. The colors, (bright), the clothes (inexplicably angular), the music (synthed within an inch of its life), it’s some wonderful film time machine. The plot is also just something that could have only happened in the 90s. I’ve mentioned before that the 90s were a kind of “we’ll try anything once” kind of time. Very strange movies did very well so why not take a chance on a toy factory turned into a kiddy arsonel?
Another fun thing about the movie is that it has absolutely no idea what genre it is. It’s kind of a comedy. Robin Williams is in usual form in this movie where they clearly just let him go plenty of times and just filmed the takes where other actors didn’t break. It doesn’t know if it’s an action movie. LL Cool J stars as Leslie’s cousin, Patrick (yes, LL is Michael Gambon’s son. Go with it), who leads Leslie and a small band in a resistance against the general. There’s complete lock down as the toy factory goes freakin’ def con four for some reason, complete with deadly bouncy balls and, no joke, a wind up dolly that shoots .45s from its mouth. Yeah. The end is an epic showdown between the general’s high-tech death toys and the charming, antiquated toys of Leslie’s father. The result is a fun, entertaining, and kind of sad conflict of progress and nostalgia. Oh yeah, Toys takes you there.
This is one of those movies that you just have to watch for fun without any expectations. That’s the only way you can enjoy it. If you go in with anything else, you’ll be disappointed, I guarantee you. There’s really nothing else like Toys; it boldly waves its freak flag and you can accept or not, there’s no in between. But I think, if you’re bored and its available, you should watch it if just to make sure none of the things in this review are the BS they sound like.
- For Toys, I can lovingly say “It’s the worst kind of bad”