Feel a little queasy at the sight of row upon row of hypertrophic, armed-to-the-eyeballs action figures at Toys 'R' Us? Well, check out Chip Hazard's dirty half-dozen and weep: Driven by smart technology intended for military applications, his commando squad is
designed to destroy the gentle Gorgonites, whose fierce appearance belies their pacifist programming. "You put munitions chips in toys?" wails old-fashioned designer Irvin (David Cross) to the associate (Jay Mohr) who's done just that in hopes of impressing the rapacious mogul (Denis Leary) who's itching to shut down their outmoded little toy company. Two days before the plastic warriors go on sale officially, young Alan Abernathy (Gregory Smith) is left briefly in charge of his family's hippie-dippy toy shop, The Inner Child, and persuades a shady delivery man (Dick Miller) to hand
over one full set of each. They swiftly turn Alan's suburban neighborhood into a small-scale killing field littered with plastic limbs and wire guts. Pretty Christy (Kirsten Dunst) next door joins the fray when her frilly Gwendy-girl collection is transformed into a mutant doll squad guaranteed to traumatize anyone who's still getting over The Twilight Zone's Talky Tina. Back in GREMLINS territory, director Joe Dante keeps this hugely clever trifle -- crammed with homage-heavy dialogue and lethal mini-military hardware imaginatively fashioned from household items -- moving at
a brisk clip. And the voice cast is a delight: Macho men Tommy Lee Jones, Ernest Borgnine, Jim Brown, Bruce Dern, George Kennedy and Clint Walker as the Commandos, Frank Langella, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer as the Gorgonites and Sarah Michelle Gellar and Christina Ricci as the grrrrl-y Gwendys.
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