Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Tron: Legacy" Review, Too Bad, Too Too Bad.

Didn't mean to give away the review with the title there, but oh well. The movie is Tron: Legacy and is the sequel to the original Tron which was released 28 years ago. So we know that Disney has been hyping up this movie for 3 years now. We know the hype created at Comic-Con this past summer. We know that Jeff Bridges is back and we know the special effects are supposed to be incredible in 3D. Let's get started.

What I liked about the movie:
Special Effects
I know it's expected, but director Joseph Kosinski did a magnificent job with the special effects (that's about all he did right). The digital world he's created is a far cry from the "state of the art" special effects in the original film. Dazzling colors and amazing digital settings create a world that we know is not our own.

Same goes for the much talked about, much hyped light cycle battles. The battles are amazing and deliver on the promise made by the trailers.

If you thought that was cool, wait until you see the battle in the air. Our heroes and villains fight it out in a true dog fight in the air.

What I didn't like about the movie:
The Story
The Oscar for ripping off other movies goes to... Tron: Legacy. 30 years ago, Tron was ahead of its time. I'm not just talking about special effects, I'm talking about story as well. In the sequel, I felt like I was watching a mash-up of Star Wars, The Matrix and Inception all in one. The story was contrived and forced and had no real direction.

Son (played by Garrett Hedlund) searching to find dad. Son runs into evil version of dad. Son finds real dad. Son tries to escape with dad. That's about the sophistication level of the story. There's viruses in the digital world, enter Oliva Wilde, who was absolutely useless in this film (but I'll get to that in a minute). There's a loony bar tender/Elton John impersonator (played by the usually awesome Michael Sheen). A hot robot escort thing and a bunch of henchmen. I'm not over exaggerating any of this, the story was just so stupid I was done about 45 minutes into the movie just after the light cycle battle.

The Acting
Oh me oh my. How the hell does Jeff Bridges go from winning the Oscar for Best Actor in 2009 to the performance he supplied in Tron: Legacy in 2010? He's like this overgrown Yoda figure with about as much personality as a snail. And it doesn't end there.

The newcomer Garrett Hedlund is terrible. Oldie but goodie Bridges was terrible. Then there's the aforementioned Wilde whose sole purpose is to look good and hopefully encourage prepubescent little boys to buy tickets to this movie. I mean come on. A little heart, a little passion for what you do folks. I couldn't care less about the characters these actors were playing. Seriously, by the end of the film, I just hoped they were all killed off so the chances of a sequel died with them. Yeah... THAT bad.

I know what you're thinking. The trailer looked awesome right? How on earth could they screw up the action? They found a way to do so. The light cycle sequences are incredible, but way too short. Those scenes only make up a small portion of the film. The hand to hand combat is so pathetic I've seen student films with better action. Same goes for the climax of the film. Wait. What? That was it? That's how the movie peaks? See for yourself and let me know what you think.

Here is my final thought on the film. I have to be honest, about an hour into the movie I wanted to walk out. If it weren't for my 15 dollar ticket to watch this crap in 3D, I would have. So I have to be honest with you and myself, I was bias towards the end of the movie. I couldn't wait for it to be over. I did see it in 3D because I THOUGHT it was all filmed in 3D. Much to my surprise, a disclaimer pops up at the beginning of the movie saying 'there are portions of the film in 2D because they were intended that way'. Yeah right. The entire first act is in 2D making me want a third of my money back! Just another BS ploy to get more money.

I think Tron: Legacy had a lot of things wrong with it, some of which had nothing to do with the actual movie itself. First off, it's a sequel about 25 years late. Second, it's 2010. Directors have come and gone with stories like this. The Wachowski brothers made us think 'Tron who' with their Matrix films. Then there's Disney's unrelenting marketing of the film. Estimated anywhere between 50 to 100 million dollars, they've been force feeding us posters, trailers, teasers for 3+ years, only to deliver this utter crap.

In the title I said it, and I'll say it again, too bad, it's just too too bad. The movie COULD have been so much more than what it was. The director, Joseph Kosinski, ruined the movie and any potential for a franchise (the movie opened and continues to play very weak at the theaters). Any other director would have noticed the flaws in the script, built a better story and executed a better plan. Advice to the studios, don't let a first time director who comes from a music video background take over a 300 million dollar project. Know that! I'm out.


Glen said...

Absolutely agree. This movie relies on the suspension of disbelief. It did not earn it.

Donnie said...

one time watch for the visuals. but so much more that could have been done with the story. i haven't seen the 1st part so not up to speed with the story but come on, at least get the basics right guys. the MOST important thing, if you name a movie after a character in the film, make sure he's on screen for MORE than 5-10 minutes.

FattMatt said...

I finally saw it last night.
I was going to write a review, but decided against it after I read yours. You pretty much nailed it.

However, I would've ranted more about 3D. God, I hate 3D.
It sounded like you got a little bit of pleasure out of the action sequences. I agree, they were very cool, except that the 3D killed it for me. Whenever I could, I watched the film without my glasses on. They absolutely ruin the color and clarity of the scenes. I hate it. I hated Avatar, too, but at least they did some cool things with the 3D there. In this, it was just a gimmick.

Anonymous said...

Whatever, so you didn’t like the story, but how can you say action was “pathetic”, I thought it was awesome. The “Tricking” –as it’s called- was done by Anis Cheurfa with very few ropes. Good stuff in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I would rather think of Tron Legacy as 2 things:
-A connector between the original Tron and an upcoming movie
-A Daft Punk music video
The bottom one being more in my thoughts. To me, the movie was awesome, but they rushed it. REALLY rushed it. If they had a better plot than "we gotta get outta here", they could have spent more time going deep into the story instead of riding lightcycle here, flying lightbike there, and then the end.
Let's remind ourselves this is a Disney movie, designed mostly for KIDS.