Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tron: Legacy

Before I begin, I feel the need to say that I actually liked the first Tron. Granted I was one when it was first released, but, after I grew up a bit and watched it, I found it to still be visionary, as well as visually ambitious, particularly for it's time. So when I heard of the sequel featuring Jeff Bridges, I was pretty excited. Granted, that excitement was dampened a bit by the critical reviews it receoeved, but I decided to draw my own conclusions.

First thing I noticed, is there are sections in the 3D viewing which are decidely 2D. In fact there is a notice saying that there are indeed 2D scenes and were filmed to be viewed as such. Which is a hassle. Viewing them through your 3D glasses, or at least for me, tired my eyes far more quickly than watching them without, but throwing them on at the first sign of double lines was annoying.

But anyway, the story starts off with the shocking visual of a young Jeff Bridges (accomplished pretty obviously through the use of CGI) talking to his motherless son before he goes to spend the night at the office. Needless to say, he never comes back. Flash forward 27 years, and we're introduced to the now grown, incredibly technically savvy and apparent extreme athlete Sam Flynn. First, I get that since his father was a computer whiz so too should he be, but motorcycle racing? Base jumping? Complete with a utter disregard for authority since he never had a parent. He does everything cliche, including rip off a corporation that is obviously corrupt. No one tells us how this young man came to possess the skills and attitude he has, we're simply expected to accept it and move on. Which ironically enough is the theme of this entire movie. Don't ask questions.

Later after Sam is digitized, scanned, and sent to fight in the "games" (question we shouldn't ask: are users so similar to programs that they scan exact same?) we see him defeat programs which presumably have been at it longer than he has. (The question we shouldn't ask is how can a novice human outdo expert programs?) After the inevitable meeting of father and son, there's some stilted dialogue and exposition which only serves to open even more plot holes which never get filled. There's the continued theme of unexplained phenomena (how is Flynn alive? Where'd all the food they eat come from? How'd he get books inside, particularly without Internet, how has he not died since time digitally is infinitely faster than analog, do programs poop? etc etc etc) which is compounded even more by the arrival of a new breed of program called an ISO, which "appeared" and weren't created, were the hope of all mankind and coincidentally were wiped out completely by CLUE, Kevin Flynn's partner in creating a digital utopia.

In all, this movie has gotten great reviews for visuals, and they don't necessarily disappoint. But without the story to back them, they are simply pretty lights blinking above a pit filled with rusty nails and barbwire. To see them up close, you will have endure a truly painful experience.

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