Back in 1982, the movie “Tron” hit theaters and was a big breakthrough in movie technology with its neon colors and cool effects. Everything about the movie was unique and fresh. Even though it didn’t appeal to everyone, science fiction geeks loved it and it’s a beloved classic to this day.
Cut to modern day. What was so fresh & unique about the first film has been rehashed and turned into so much computer mumbo jumbo that trying to follow this script is like trying to sort through a computer manual. It just ain’t happenin’. And even with Jeff Bridges returning in his original role as computer programmer, Kevin Flynn, this movie can’t be saved from a heavy-handed plot and some seriously bad Jar-Jar Binks CGI effects.
To set the storyline, the movie goes back to the late 80’s where Flynn is seen talking to his son, Sam. He tells him a story about his discovery of The Grid and how amazing it is. Then he rides off on his motorcycle, never to be seen again. He leaves his company to Sam and as an adult (Garrett Hedlund), he has a penchant for daredevilry and no use for responsibility. But his quest for finding his dad continues on and eventually he finds his father’s secret lair in his old video arcade. Sam then gets zapped into The Grid, only to be captured and transferred to the games area. There he excels and eventually meets up with his father and they try to escape back to the real world. Obviously there is more to the story than that…but I don’t want to give away any plot details.
“Tron: Legacy” had a lot going for it. It has a built in audience in middle-aged males, it has Bridges after winning an Oscar last year and it had a flashy trailer that made it look like the next “Avatar.” But everything it had going for it sort of disappears as everything gets muddled with father/son angst, a Flynn doppelganger that is the worst CGI character I’ve seen since the monsters in “I Am Legend” and some bad pacing.
The best thing going for this film is the action sequences. Flashy in their presentation, they really aren’t any better than the latest Star Wars films, but the neon effects are kind of cool and they are a nice upgrade from the original without losing the effect that the first one had. Also, in a star turn, Olivia Wilde was pretty good as the heroine of the film, Quorra. Her character has more personality than ALL of the other characters in this film and that’s too bad.
All in all, this was a disappointing film for me. I went in with my hopes up too high maybe? I dunno. But it didn’t have the kind of action or script that I was hoping to see and that left me feeling empty about it. Also I can also say that the soundtrack by Daft Punk was obnoxious and, at several points in the film, quite annoying. Seriously…I thought “Matrix Unloaded” was a testament to how bad electronica can be for a film but this movie has it throughout the entire film and it started to get on my nerves after about the first half hour.
Overall Rating: C-
P.S. Skip the 3D. Believe it or not, it does nothing to enhance the film…again.