Sat, Dec 18, 2010

: Tron Legacy

The first film is so obviously flawed I was hoping and expecting that this one would fix those issues. For instance, back in 1982 few people understood what a computer was or had even used one, so some of the silly things they created for the film were excusable. But today’s audience is more sophisticated — everyone has a computer and even if you aren’t a geek and don’t know how it works, I think you’re pretty sure there aren’t little people inside your computer playing video games! Unfortunately, this new film is just as bad as the original. It makes all the same mistakes: lame non-story, nonsensical plot, promises of philosophical significance but no delivery, and odd scenes and events that don’t fit. It’s not a terrible movie; just a disappointment. The special effects are fine, though almost too polished (at least in the first film there was a distinct look to the “computer world” — here it’s so realistically rendered it seems as real as our world). The action is pretty good, especially the lightcycle and video game stuff (though the lightcycle strategies weren’t always clear the way things were shot and edited). I didn’t at all understand what the “audience” was doing watching the video game competitions: why would programs need entertainment? And why would watching others play games be entertaining to a computer program? Most of the characters are weak. I liked the beginning of the film, with the setup of the Bridge’s character’s from the first film disappearing 20 years earlier and his son setting out to find him, but the film really lost it for me when he finally reunites with his dad — a dad who supposedly loved him dearly — and this great reunion lasts a whopping 30 seconds before the dad wanders off without an explanation. Huh? If you were trapping in a hidden world and you finally meet up with the first non-computer person you’ve met in 20 years, your beloved son, aren’t you going to talk to him for more than 30 seconds???? I partially liked Bridges’ Zen character: his tendency toward patience made sense considering his predicament and clashed well with his son’s brashness, but the implementation of it was poorly done and used for no real purpose (we should have seen evidence of both tactics succeeding so we could know that both characters were partially right). The one good character thing I saw was one scene with Quorra, the girl the boy meets. It was my favorite scene in the film, where she’s showing the boy all the books she’s read and reveals her favorite is Jules Verne. “Do you know Jules Verne?” she asks. He says, “Sure.” She eagerly replies, practically dancing with joy, “Ohh! What’s he like?” That was brilliant, revealing her childlike innocence and showing her enthusiasm for the little things. Sadly, that was the only bright spot in the entire film. Otherwise, the characters are just stereotypes. Some have been critical of the digital “youthification” of Jeff Bridges — but I had no problem with it. He only looked weird to me for a second or two in a couple of scenes. I didn’t much get his character, however. He was the evil dictator who early on seemed to delight in destruction, but at the end somehow comes across as only slightly flawed. Huh? Basically, the whole things a muddled mess. The plot is artificial with the conflict forced. I genuinely liked certain scenes, and some of the acting is good. There’s still some good to get out of the film. It’s worth seeing if you’re a fan of the franchise just so you can form your own opinion, and the special effects are cool. But I didn’t notice the 3D at all, not even once — the whole movie was as flat as a pancake as far as I’m concerned. Not worth even an extra penny for the 3D. I didn’t hate the film. I wasn’t bored. It was interesting, if only to see what they’d done with the digital world. But mainly it’s a lot of wasted potential. Three years of labor to produce this? It feels like the script was written in a weekend and the whole thing rushed into production the next day!

Topic: [/movie]