TRON: Legacy (2010)
Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
Written by: Adam Horowitz, Bonnie MacBird, Brian Klugman, Edward Kitsis, Lee Sternthal, Steven Lisberger
Starring: Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Michael Sheen, Olivia Wilde
Being a massive fan of the first Tron is a bit like saying that at the age of 36, I still stay with my parents, have a collection of Black Hole action dolls (in their boxes) and go to fighting/fantasy conventions with my character being Baltazaar the Barbarian. I apologise in advance to all that fit these categories but in general, it is not looked in a positive light by the opposite sex and society in general. I did and still do like Tron very much and for one main reason – it dared to try something different. I also loved the overblown sound effects and Wendy Carlos score.
The main problem with the follow up 30 or so years later is that in the trailers we have seen Tron Legacy’s biggest strength and that is the visuals. The new Grid world looks utterly mesmerizing. It is when the sound is added the problems begin. While watching Tron Legacy I felt like a child staring a big present sitting under the Xmas tree. It’s wrapped in shiny paper and enticing you towards it and you’re counting down the days to opening it. When you do, you find it is one of the rotten tricks by your folks when they wrap a smaller gift under a rainforrest of paper. Legacy offers the same feeling.
Bar the geographical perfection of the grid, a scattering of good performances of supporting roles and one kick ass bike chase, the story suffers from the same mistakes as the original. Namely the movie shoots it’s bolt too soon. The arena scene feels rushed and just when your adrenaline is starting to pump, it’s taken away from you. The final action scene is a lazy retread of the Millenium Falcon dust off in the original Star Wars with a Matrix type, Neo scene thrown in, with a flavour of the original verion of Blade Runner chucked in. Surprisingly, the sound effects don’t cut the mustard either. I was expecting to be blown away in this department in an IMAX arena, but apart from some base trembling numbers by Daft Punk, especially in a pub brawl, there is nothing of any significance.
There are aspects to the project that make things almost worth while. Where the cocksure, Sam Flynn (an uninterested Garrett Hedlund) is irritating, Quorra (Olivia Wilde) has to be the sexiest female charater in a sci-fi for years. She seems to have avoided the stroppy and headstrong herionne with a heart of gold stigma. Quorra is friendly, childlike, mischevious but can also make mincemeat out of the bad guys. Jeff Bridges is reliable as always but is underused in the action sense with the villain CLU variably successful as the main villain role. Michael Sheen, as mega camp night club owner Castor, is good fun but perhaps chews the scenery a little too much with all the bland performances surrounding him.
The bottom line is that this is not as good as the original which in turn was not a perfect film. But as Kevin Flynn comments in the film ” I spent all my life searching for perfection and the most important thing was right in front of me”. Unfortunately for Flynn, this is not it.