The Toy, starring Richard Pryor, is a coarsened American remake of a deft French comedy of the same title, which starred Pierre Richard and passed this way five or six years ago. Fluctuating wildly between facetiousness and solicitude, the new version never comes close to reproducing the sane, lightweight charms of the original.
A dreadful remake of the French farce LE JOUET (1976), THE TOY is poorly written, over-directed, and filled with sophomoric attempts at humor. Only Richard Pryor's personal energy manages to save it from being complete rubbish.
Comedy is no laughing matter; when a joke dies, the joker -- as well as the audience -- dies a little, too. At the end of Richard Pryor's latest comedy, The Toy, the viewer may require emergency medical attention. Shapeless, noisy, vulgar, sentimental and amateurish... [13 Dec 1982, p.83]