Ror Reviews: Tron: Legacy
Better late than never:) Click for my take on the much hyped, long time coming sequel to the 80s classic...
Tron Legacy is a difficult film to review in many ways. It's a sequel to a cult 80s movie that everyone probably remembers, but remembers fondly? Well, lets just say we;re not talking about Blade Runner 2. Depending on whether you saw it, liked, it, loved it, where indifferent to it or maybe even hated it will effect your reasons for going to see this sequel.
Tron 2. Tron: Legacy. Was that first movie even good enough to warrant a legacy? I'm sure there are many who will proclaim its greatness, but in reality, it was a moderately entertaining sci-fi actioner, ahead of it's time maybe, with half decent performances and a plot that could have been scribbled on a beer mat. If that floats your boat you will love this sequel. Don't get me wrong, I did like Tron. But no more than I liked The Last Starfighter, Flight Of The Navigator ..any number of movies that I remember and enjoyed as a kid. When I heard about the sequel I was intrigued because of that sense of nostalgia. Then a slew of pretty good(great?) trailers hit and I was well up for it.
The story should really be the selling point here. It's been said that even if you haven't seen the original that you can step into Tron 2 and still grasp the story but basically that's a load of shit. You may comprehend what's going on but you will never 100% be integrated into the world, or invested the characters that have been established in the previous film. Plot wise, here you are. Kevin Flyyn is trapped in the grid, his son must fight to free him. There might be a wee bit more to it, but honestly not much. "Ok" you say, you weren't coming to this film for a great plot? Listen up. Visually and aurally it's [frick]ing amazing. Daft Punk really up their game wit the soundtrack. A throwback that reminded me of Vangelis' score for Blade Runner back in the day. The CGI and 3d work fantastically. The world isn't as fully realized as say Avatar but it doesn't need to be. The Grid is supposed to be a computer generated environment after all and it immerses you in that world. Fantastic action sequences with frisbees and light cycles and shit. I don't mean to sound flippant, it works as great action but if you don't give a [frick] about the characters involved then is it really worth a damn? The answer is of course: No it [frick]ing isn't.
The main protagonist, Sam Flynn, is not a character. He is a cliche. A walking, talking advert for the trailer. He doesn't even really have a lot of dialog. He says things like: " NOT GOOD!" and: "ENJOY YOUR SWIM" and various other garbage that may excite a child. For me he kinda came across as a bit of a cocky tool and never really connects on any kind of emotional level. Which might be ok if we weren't asked to make that connection. But as I'm sure you know, the whole crux of the the story is Sam's reunion with his long lost father Kevin, who has been trapped in the Grid for years. In fairness to Garret Hedlund, he does the best with what he has. The guy does have screen presence. And, Jeff Bridges is as awesome as ever as Flynn and his younger doppleganer Clu(sometimes believable, sometimes not). He is the emotional core of the story(for me anyway) and keeps me trucking along with the nonsensical plot which I'm not even going to get into(It would take too long...honestly). Another bonus is Olivia Wilde as Quorra. Impressive as the only other sympathetic character. Then we have Martin Sheen as probably the most pointless character in movie history. I swear to the Cylon God he made the entire cinema look around in disbelief as he pranced around like a reject from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Tron: Legacy is an entertaining movie. It's exciting at times, and even manages a (small bit) of connection with it's characters. But aside from an eye/ear gasm and Jeff Bridges there really isn't that much to recommend. Lovers of the original movie may be equal parts vindicated and disappointed. I really don't know. I suppose it all depends on what your looking for.
Oh, incidentally, Tron(the dude the film is named after) appears for about 3 and a half minutes. First he is good..then evil, then good again for absolutely no reason. Then dies with a helmet on. Tron there. In a film called Tron : Legacy. Brilliant.
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