TRON: Legacy: Dazzling, Daring, Daft Punk…End of Line

20 12 2010

Has there ever been a sequel that’s taken almost 30 years to be released? Well, TRON: Legacy is the highly anticipated sequel to 1982’s TRON. And it’s definitely a sequel folks, not a reboot/remake. While the movie does a good job introducing new audiences to the story, a viewing of the original 1982 film should be in order (fans will like the many nods to the original: look for light-tanks, the “End of Line” club and Bit). Here’s the breakdown:

World renowned software designer, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), has been missing for the better part of two decades. Flynn’s son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), struggles with the mysterious disappearance, unsure of his future role with Flynn’s global technology company, Encom. But when Sam gets a message from his dad’s old arcade, Sam finds himself transported to The Grid, a super-advanced world of computer programs. Within The Grid, Sam must battle a rogue program in an effort to free his father and make it out of The Grid alive.

The Monkey: It should come has no surprise that TRON: Legacy‘s visuals have been the source of most of its praise; they deserve it. TRON: Legacy is the dictionary definition of eye-candy. Everything in this movie – the actors, the vehicles, the costumes, the sets – is a visual feast. And if you were thinking of seeing this movie in 2D, think again. This movie was made for the 3D experience, and if you have an IMAX theatre nearby, make the drive, it’s worth it. Forget all the mediocre 3D fare that has clogged cineplexes the past few months; TRON: Legacy is at the forefront of what 3D movies should be.

Just as integral to the story as the visuals, TRON: Legacy features a stellar soundtrack, producted by DJ duo Daft Punk. While I’m hardly saying anything new here (the soundtrack has been earning high praise even before the movie’s release), it’s worth noting that the soundtrack almost becomes a character in itself. Just enough parts ’80s throwback and modern electronica, Daft Punk gets the tone and feel of the movie…and it sounds awesome pumping through blaring movie theatre surround sound, let me tell you!

While the visuals and the music have wooed many viewers, the plot has left many less enthused. I think much of the criticism has been warranted, but unduly harsh. The central themes of the story are very universal and relatable: son  seeking father, the lines between order and chaos, censorship and freedom, etc. These thematic undercurrents run rampant throughout TRON: Legacy and provide rather profound and deep philosophical underpinnings for an otherwise effects-laden snooze-fest; however, that being said…

The Weasel: …the film really stretches itself too thin here. There are wonderful nuggets of storytelling nestled into a much larger picture; unfortunately, this means no one theme can be fully (or successfully) fleshed out. TRON: Missed Opportunities might have been a more apt title. For example, the “villain” Clu, is hardly a villain at all – he’s doing his job, cleaning up The Grid, striving for perfection. And while the movie touches on this fact, it continues to portray him as a very stereotypical film villain (maniacal laughter, impassioned speech to millions of minions, and all). Add to this a grossly overlooked plot thread involving self-created programs called Isomorphic Algorithms or “ISOs” (with all the wonderfully underutilized religious connotations this entails) and an interesting (yet truncated) nod to open-sourcing, file-sharing and technological freedoms/censorship, and TRON: Legacy is a wealth of intellectual storytelling…that is shamefully underdeveloped. It saddens me that the writers had these great ideas, fully fleshed out in early script drafts, only to see many key elements left on the cutting room floor to make room for yet another (albeit gorgeous) lightcylce race.

Going into the theatre to see TRON: Legacy, you’re not expecting to listen to Oscar-worthy dialogue; however, I was expecting something better than a string of one-liners and cliches. Sam’s lines were nothing but, “Woas,” “This should be interestings,” “I’m not a programs,” and “This can’t be goods.” I don’t think he uttered a single original line of dialogue. Flynn’s lines weren’t that much better. Clearly a nod to Jeff Bridge’s portrayal of The Dude in the Coen Brother’s 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski, Flynn’s use of “man,” and “dude” at the end of every sentence wore thin quickly. And why does every movie featuring an amassed army (that can clearly be seen by the audience) have to have one of the main characters say, “He’s building an army!” Seriously? No shit. But the worst? When Sam describes the sun to Quorra (Olivia Wilde) by saying, “It’s warm…radiant…beautiful.” Gack! This has got to be up there with Anakin’s now infamous description of sand in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Without giving away any spoilers, there is a particular plot thread involving a rather underdeveloped villain, Rinzler, left so unresolved that about 75% of the theatre stayed until the end of the credits, expecting to see an additional scene. Well, I’ll save you the extra five minutes – there is no additional scene (which actually elicited some booing from the audience). The filmmakers passed up a great opportunity (yet again) to tease at a possible third installment, or, at the very least, tie up a rather tacked on plot device.

A movie that could have been much better, if it had only spent a little more time fleshing out its existing story structure. At least it leaves you with a lot to talk about after the credits roll. And with the visuals and music to distract you, it’s still a ride you won’t want to miss.

4 Death Stars out of 5

What do you think? Do you think TRON: Legacy is a worthy sequel to the first film? Do you see a TRON 3 in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

Actions

Information

12 responses

20 12 2010
Aaron Shively

You think there will be a third installment? I feel like it’s bound to happen!

21 12 2010
Dustin

Possibly! And a side note: how random was the Cillian Murphy cameo?!

21 12 2010
Aaron Shively

That’s why I think they’re most DEFINITELY doing a sequel! Cillian Murphy VS Garrett Hedlund! The two of them fighting for the company or Garrett Hedlund taking over the company and Cillian wanting to destroy him…? Maybe?

22 12 2010
Dustin

Sounds good to me!

23 12 2010
scarletsp1der

and yes…that CM cameo was super random!!

23 12 2010
scarletsp1der

again! Dead on Dustin! funny note about Sam’s dialogue. Your note on Rinzler expresses one of the same frustrations I felt watching the film. And, yes, we did stay to the end too! …………

Nice job!

28 12 2010
rtm

Nice review, but I don’t think the critics are harsh about the plot, it really is terrible. The part about Rinzler should’ve been much more fleshed out given how important he is to the plot, but the wooden acting and lousy dialog (like the one you mention) takes a big chuck out of my rating. I gave it 2.5 stars MOSTLY for the visuals.

28 12 2010
rtm

Oh, and what’s with Cillian’s pointless cameo?? If you’re gonna use an actor like him, would you at least give him something worth his while? Ok, end of rant 😀

28 12 2010
Dustin

My only guess is that he may be used for a possible sequel? As the son of the first film’s bad-guy, it would make sense that he would come back as a villain…who knows!

28 12 2010
Dustin

I suppose I just can’t help but see all the potential the plot provided – poorly executed? Yes. A lot to work with post-viewing? Yes. I was excited to hear they are making an animated mini-series covering the time period between the two films…I hope they use this medium to flesh out a bunch of the poorly executed plot points – one can hope! 🙂
And agreed; Rinzler was horribly handled, especially considering his significance by the end…and no after-credit clip! Ah! lol

28 12 2010
scarletsp1der

the no “after credit clip” really ticked me off, honestly. My friend Meccadawn and I have our own after clip that we imagined that should have been included. (won’t post it due to “spoiler content”) but you are right Dustin, in that movie makers should ask us bloggers for opinions prior to making their final edits! 🙂

3 01 2011
Novroz

I agree RUTH!! There is something that annoyed me, they didn’t even credit him. I waited till all the cast name is over and he wasn’t there 😦

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: