by Keith Kelly
I had high expectations for “Tron: Legacy”. The 1982 original
film had groundbreaking special effects, and helped bring to life
the new world of electronic gaming. It looked unlike any other film
of its day. However, the film lacked heart, and left you a bit cold.
It was a disappointment at the box office, but developed a cult
Fast-forward to today.
A new generation of filmmakers takes on the Tron storyline in an
effort to woo today’s web-savvy, game-playing audience, utilizing
the latest and greatest advances in computer generated imagery.
Unfortunately, this latest version also misses the mark.
There is a lot to admire in “Tron: Legacy”. It’s the kind of film
that is perfect for 3D and Imax-which is where I viewed it. It’s a
spectacle of light and sound. The visuals are a marvel to look at.
The soundtrack by Daft Punk is a perfect compliment to the visuals.
Newcomer Garrett Hedlund, who plays the son of Kevin Flynn, had a
cool, cocky James Dean-like edge to him. Olivia Wilde is both
beautiful to look at, and has some kick-ass fighting moves. Another
big score is the return of Jeff Bridges as the creator of this
computer world. So on paper (and in trailers) this film looks like a
great, grand adventure.
Regrettably, like the original, it’s all sparkle with little
substance. Oscar winner Jeff Bridges mostly sleepwalks thru this
film, and is the biggest waste of talent. He’s got a couple of funny
quips, but spends most of the movie in meditative poses, or spouting
exposition about the storyline. Thru the magic of de-aging special
effects, Bridges also plays a younger version of himself, shown in
flashbacks, and also his evil Tron world alter ego. The effect
almost works, but ends up making the characters look unintentionally
creepy-especially around their mouths. They almost look like some of
the folks from the animated Polar Express film.
The script never gives you any reason to root for the
one-dimensional characters or fear for their predicaments in this
video game world made real. There is very little depth to the heroes
or the villains-they’re just cogs in the plot. The action scenes,
while visually impressive, are flat and sometimes hard to follow.
The spectacle overload actually starts to get a bit boring after
awhile, and I found myself almost nodding off at times.
Maybe they’ll finally get it better in Tron 3. I give “Tron:
Legacy”, directed by Joseph Kosinski, a grade of “C+”. I’m Keith
Keith Kelly TV