Toys (1992)

BARRY LEVINSON

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B

USA, 1992.  Baltimore Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox.  Screenplay by , Barry Levinson.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Barry Levinson. Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by Albert Wolsky.  Film Editing by .  

Visual splendour is compromised by a nonsensical screenplay in this Robin Williams comedy directed by Barry Levinson to little effect. When his uncle () dies and leaves him his toy factory, Williams decides to maintain the principles of fun and joy that have kept the place going for so long. This becomes difficult, however, when his warmongering relative () tries to stage a coup and use the factory for producing weapons of mass destruction. The sets by Ferdinando Scarfiotti are absolutely dazzling, some of the most original work ever seen on screen (inspired by Dadaist artistic philosophy to boot), but the film’s anti-war message is insultingly obvious and its attempts at comedy are never very funny. Williams has a good time, as do  as his love interest and Joan Cusack as his sister, but the audience doesn’t really get to share much of it.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Art Direction; Best Costume Design

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