Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rebecca Reviews: Tron Legacy

There was something about the original Tron. It had an amazing alternate world I wanted to visit. It had characters I loved: Tron the noble gladiator, Flynn the laid-back wise-cracking computer genius, and Ram the friendly, faithful actuarial program. Sure, the story was crazy and a little confusing, but there was a sense of fun that carried it through. My family watches it over and over and never seems to get tired of it (though now that we have the DVD my boys usually skip that boring stuff at the beginning and go straight to the light cycles).

As for Tron Legacy, I think watching it once was enough.

The digital dystopia of this new Tron has a gritty, black-and-white feel to it. I missed the eye-popping color of the old grid. And no, I don't want to visit. There were some new ideas in the film, but merely taking light cycles and disk battles to three dimensions doesn't count for originality points on my score sheet. I was disappointed that I didn't connect to the characters as much as I had hoped: Sam, the orphaned loser, Flynn the spaced-out guru who has been chilling in his own digital world for too many centuries while hiding out from his evil twin Clu, and Quorra the artificially intelligent warrior princess. They didn't move me. As for Clu, he had neither the dramatic flair of Sark or the all-powerful presence of the MCP. And I just couldn't see my old pal Flynn turning into a megalomaniac perfectionist, dude. Where did that come from?

What I missed most was the sense of fun. It came through now and then with a clever line of dialog, but mostly the film took itself too seriously. And the ending let me down. At the end of the old Tron movie we free the system and Flynn gets to prove he wrote "Space Paranoids." In the new Tron movie, well, I won't spoil it for you, but don't expect fireworks and a big parade.

Still, I don't feel like I wasted my seven dollars and fifty cents. It was interesting to see where they took the story. And planes with jet walls? That's cool.

So go watch it once, if only to see what they do with Sleeping Beauty's castle in the opening titles.

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