We gave it an F
It can’t be that bad, can it? Oh, it is. Every major filmmaker seems to have one massive dud to get out of his system—Spielberg had 1941, Lucas had Howard the Duck—and now Rain Man‘s Barry Levinson delivers his unwatchable slab of big-budget twee. Aiming for a cross between Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Yellow Submarine, Levinson forgets that fantasy has to be tightly controlled if it’s to work with either kids or adults; Toys is sloppy, loud, confusing, and finally, annoying. Even Robin Williams, as a man-child who rescues the family toy factory from his warmongering uncle (Michael Gambon), looks desperate. True, the Oscar-nominated sets and costumes are an eyeful, but the vivid primary colors are actually too strong for videotape’s limited palette. The scene involving a gravestone in the shape of a huge, bubble-blowing white elephant serves as an apt metaphor for the whole doleful mess.