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An eccentric toymaker's last wish is that his brother takes over the running of the business. The brother is a military General, and is out of touch with toymaking, and out of touch with reality too. The business should really have been given to Leslie, who was much more like his toymaking father. When the General starts making weapons instead of toys, Leslie decides to take action. Written by
An eccentric, pacifistic toymaker, Robin Williams, learns to take responsibility and assert himself after his father leaves the family toy factory to his uncle, Michael Gambon, a retired army general, who violates the company philosophy by making war toys. Director Barry Levinson, a sometimes brilliant writer, used his considerable prestige to make this very big film built around this very simple analogy: War is bad/innocence (toys) is good. This film would have had more relevance in 1972 than 1992. As it is, it is two decades too late and two tons too heavy. Worse still, the climax is directly contradicts the theme of the film. Robin Williams is only able to gain the maturity to take control of the company by waging a toy war. Hmmmm, maybe war isn't so bad after all. Still, the film is not a total washout. The sets are quite imaginative, and the film does manage to generate an interesting atmosphere - if you're in the mood for such things. The most interesting thing, however, is the casting of rapper LL Cool J as Michael Gambon's son and Robin Williams' cousin. No explanation is given for the fact that he's African-American. That's a nice touch.
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