Saturday, January 01, 2011

Legacy of Tron

Note: My review is probably going to be a bit more skewed then usual. The theater conditions were less then stellar. It’s been a week and I still haven’t heard back about the complaint I wrote to the theater or the corporate office. Clearly customer service is a number one priority for them! >.> Anyway, I was more inclined to like this movie probably to try and drown out the noise and stupidity that surrounded me.

The sequel for anyone in the 30-35 age group has arrived. Tron: Legacy picks up just about where the last story left off, and keeps the fun simple with fancy, neon graphics. Disney was smart to keep this property. Cash Cow is rolling in. Though it got booted from the top spot this past week (By Little Fockers…seriously you people make me sick), it’s raking in money to push for another movie. I’ve stated yesterday that this was a movie worth seeing before the end of the year. So here’s why.

Positives:

It makes you feel like a grown up kid again. Like it did for DKC Returns for me. I remember seeing the original Tron when I was so young, and watching Legacy brought a myriad of good memories. This isn’t an elevated Tron nor one that is super fancy in the story, but it’ll allow you to enjoy the ride.

Pretty. For a grim, Blade Runner-esque locale, the imagery in this movie is crazy good. It’ll be a little weird at first for anyone who remembers the first Tron. We’re use to seeing white outfits with the lights and less conformity in the background. Legacy makes an elevated step in the right direction on how the Grid should look after 20+ years. The other weird, and yet kind of cool feature, is the facial imaging for Jeff Bridges character. At the beginning, the movie picks up not too long after Jeff’s character get’s out of the Grid. And while Mr. Bridges’ is a handsome man, he has aged since then. Leave it to Disney to take 20 years off of his face and have a near, identical match, to his original 1982 Tron image. It’s a creepy/cool kind of thing to watch.

Simplistic story = steady pace. As much crap as I have been reading on the internet that critics were disappointed in how the story went (and yet they still like Avatar?), they seem to have forgotten how simple the original Tron story was. What made the original Tron stand out was merging computer graphics with a unique perspective. And the best way to make that work was to keep the story simple. Not James Cameron “I’m going to rip off Fern Gulley” simple, but simple in the sense that you can enjoy the movie without having to crack your head open. Combined with great actors, you get a movie that you can remember. That’s what Tron: Legacy is wanting to replicate, and I think they did that quite well. It does provide more depth to the Grid then what we previously experienced as well as a new level to Kevin Flynn’s story. It doesn’t over complicate things. And for a movie under 2 hours, it kept a good, steady pace.

Characters on the Grid given a new lease on life. I.E. personality. It was nice to see that they didn’t make the programs into robots, as they were trying to do with the first Tron. I’d imagine that if you took all of the programs on my computer and threw them into a pit to interact, they would all have distinguishable attributes that make them unique. Though they may have had robotic motions, they felt human. It was a good blend.

Negatives:

South Park Tron. At least they did the cool pixel effect.
Odd exposition in cliché Hollywood format. I’m going to try and not give away key scenes for those who haven’t seen it, but there are moments where the Flynn’s are trying to stay hidden from the bad guys and apparently that’s the perfect time to catch up on the past! Let’s not do it when we’re off the Grid. Nope. We’ll do it in the 5 minutes we have before we get spotted. >.> I realize that this is a simple story, but the old clichés are getting a little silly these days.

Ending pulled a Blade Runner. Original theatrical release of Blade Runner. And if anyone knows or has heard of the theater Blade Runner before Ridley Scott got the rights back and made the director’s cut, you know how bad that is. I get it in the sense that they wanted to leave it open and allow for another Tron movie to occur (and yes that is in the works). At the same time, what a wonderful slap in the face to the audience. I was hoping for something awesome, but really I got a bland piece of film.

One special effect with disappointment. Do you remember how Kevin Flynn was transported into the Grid the first time? Well the same machine is there. But his son doesn’t get the cool, pixelated effect when going to the Grid. Instead it’s a really bland, passive, warp drive mode. So lame. Seriously I don’t know what the effects director was thinking. They needed to have that original pixelation. It would have really tied in the old with the new.

Overall, this is one of those sequels that really encapsulates the original movie while bringing fresh ideas to the table. It’s a good waste of 2 hours that will make anyone of my age group happy.

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