“Change the scheme! Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you'd be so kind.”
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde, Garrett Hedlund,
Screenplay: Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz
So I guess most people have the same question. Was the movie worth the mammoth amount of hype that was generated? The answer is obviously no. I doubt any movie could really live up to the hype that was generated with Tron Legacy. Second question, is it a good movie? The answer in my opinion is yes but as much as I want to gush about the film it does have its flaws. I think this review is going to hurt me more than you readers.
Visually this film is spectacular and the look of the world inside the computer is just beautiful. While the colour pallet is limited it does bring to mind the original and that this grid is just the upgrade. If it wasn’t for Tron Legacy probably Jackass 3D would be the only movie this year that used 3D to its fullest potential. Joseph Kosinski also really has an eye for what to show and how to show it. You can see what is happening in the action scenes and the city shots really let the audience immerse themselves. It’s easy to get lost in the beauty of the movie, so much so that you might bypass all the flaws the movie has.
Acting we aren’t really at the decline but some flaws start sneaking in. Both Garrett Hedlun and Olivia Wilde are a little bland in their respective roles, they aren’t exactly bad but they don’t really do anything to stand out. Olivia actually is the more memorable of the two, she does a few subtle things that do build on the character, the little giggle when she pilots, the embarrassed looks when she screws up understanding Users, she makes the most of a paper thin character. However the big draw in acting is Jeff Bridges who reprises the role of both Clu and Flynn. Some have said that with Kevin Flynn he’s channelling The Dude in his performance, but having the benefit of seeing the original before hand this performance is just pure Kevin Flynn. All the mannerisms are there, the language, it’s brilliant to see how easily he can slip into the Flynn character and add in the depth of being slightly beaten down from being trapped in The Grid for so long. As Clu he makes a credible villain, his motivation is interesting, his anger palatable. Another performance worth mentioning is Martin Sheen as the program Castor. As the owner of the End of the Line nightclub he goes about chewing on as much of the scenery around him as possible and thankfully comes off very entertaining.
Now speaking of the actors and more importantly Jeff Bridges much was made about the special effects in regards to Clu being Jeff Bridge yet made youthful. In a fair few scenes it seems to work but in the more intense stuff things did come apart slightly. It’s a huge step forward in regards to this kind of technology but there are still a few kinks to work out to stop the weird computer look.
The story in Tron Legacy is where things really collapse. Now there are interesting ideas, themes of the links between parent and child, religious themes of creator vs creation, even some debate about the need to keep some computer systems private over allowing free access. But these are all dealt with lightly and the story really does lose a lot of steam from the get go. Events happen but there just doesn’t seem to be much forward momentum. Or maybe that is the wrong way of putting it, sure there were scenes that I really dug, I mean I have watched the movie twice already but for the average movie goer who isn’t a huge fan of the original I don’t see them really caring about what is happening on the screen. Honestly I don’t think the script works hard enough for the emotional pay offs that occur and there are some plot elements that just seem under developed. At the end of the day this means you’ve got a pretty picture with no substance what so ever unless you’ve watched a movie from 1982. It’s a shame as I said there were some interesting ideas.
With the awesome soundtrack of Daft Punk accompanying this movie, everything seems little more than the music video. I loved this movie but to be fair I also love Tron. For someone coming in cold I can’t help but think that while they will visually be pleased, most likely they will forget the viewing experience pretty quickly. However if you like Tron then by all means get out there and watch this movie, you won’t be disappointed.