Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tron: Legacy

Well, I thought this was awesome.

I meant to see this in the theater, since the trailers looked awesome and because I'm marginally a fan of the original film. However, I'm an adult with a job and a girlfriend, so Imjust never managed to find the time until it was too late, but I rented it as soon as it came out on Blu Ray. Needless to say, I thought it was great, and I regret missing it in the theater in its full 3D glory. If they make a third film, I'll be the first in line. Unless, you know, I have something important to do, like getting my tabs renewed at the Department of Motor Vehicles, or going grocery shopping, or something else that comes up that I can't avoid. Frankly, being an adult sucks.

I'd much rather leave this life behind me and jack into the digital grid of Tron, like Sam Flynn did, the character played by actor Garrett Hedlund in Tron: Legacy. The world of the grid is like our world but better, with cooler body suits that are fully illuminated, better landscapes where the buildings look like circuits on a motherboard, all of the women have an otherworldly beauty, and all everybody seems to do all day is play cool video games and ride around on awesome light cycles. All things considered, my life is ok, but it's a safe bet there's no DMV in the world of Tron. There is just a totalitarian leader who is bent on eliminating everything and everyone that isn't perfect in the hopes of creating a true, digital utopia. So I guess it's a real toss up.

Of course, I can't jack into the world of Tron, but being able to watch a film about a guy who does is a good compromise. As films go, this isn't up there with Citizen Kane or the King's Speech. If what you want is a moving story with lots of commentary on the human condition, go rent My Dinner With Andre. If what you want is to see an amazing visual tour de force with exceptional set pieces and pioneering special effects, well, this is the best film you'll see all year. In an era where every film is chock full of computer generated effects, Tron: Legacy still manages to see as fresh and visually original as the original film was when it was released almost thirty years ago.

As sequels go, this was pretty much perfect, in that it honored the original while still being able to stand alone on its own terms. Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges both reprise their roles from the first film, although Jeff Bridges has a starring role while Boxleitner's is close to a cameo. I would rather have seen a bigger role for Boxleitner, since he's just a cool actor and because he *is* Tron, but I can understand why they focused instead on Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, and the amazing Olivia Wilde. Jeff Bridges appears both as the aged version of Kevin Flynn in the first film, as well as the digital representation found in the grid where he looks just like he did in 1982. The film somehow used digital technology to de-age Bridges in this role, and while it isn't perfect at all (in fact, when you first see him on screen, it's really strange and off putting), it's still very cool and extremely well done.

The star of the Garrett Hedlund, however, as the son of Bridges's character who enters the digital grid in the hopes of saving his father. Hedlund took a beating in many of the reviews and user comments I read after seeing the film, but I thought he was great. His role was fairly underwritten and he wasn't given much emoting to do, but he was pretty charming and likable, and fun to watch through out. Even better was Olivia Wilde as the love interest he meets in the computer world. I had never seen this actress before, but she was a wonderful actress, and maybe the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Best of all was Michael Sheen as Zuse, who played the character as thought he was in a Ziggy Stardust video.

And don't be afraid if you haven't already seen the original Tron. That movie made no sense, and neither did this one, so seeing one won't help much to decipher the other. However, both are beautiful and exciting in their own way, but I actually think this sequel works better, is more entertaining, and has more exciting action sequences. Just check it out. I give it two thumbs up, even if only for the awesome soundtrack by Daft Punk.


Justin Garrett Blum said...

I liked Olivia Wilde as the Baroness in that Ballad of G.I. Joe, or whatever it was, that you posted a million years ago. That was her best role.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with that last sentence! :P The soundtrack and the FX were the best part of the movie. Personally, the script didn't do much for me and the plot was a little strange. There were a number of confusing points, but I still love it just because it's Tron, which I have been obsessive about ever since my father introduced me to the original about 10 years ago. (Even though my sister constantly belittles it for the "obviously fake" special effects. She can't seem to wrap her head around the fact that this movie is over 30 years old!) [I am currently between 15 and 20, fyi. Next generation of Tron fans, unite! :P]

I was really upset that Tron/Boxleitner didn't get more screen time. My reasoning was that it's called Tron Legacy, so why does he have barely three scenes? So that bugged me, as well as Rinzler's "conversion," which was very abrupt and made me go "huh?"

Anyway, I completely agree with basically everything you've said here. :D Nice going.