Review: TRON Legacy

Twenty-eight years later, a new Good Film Hunting review…or it feels like it. Sorry, I’ve been spending more time with my other mistress (The Upsell blog) and have been neglecting my duties here. Nothing like nostalgia to bring you back.  TRON is a beautiful girl with not much to say or to add, you like her while she’s there but don’t miss her when she’s gone.

A sequel to the 1982 “way ahead of its time but looks like Space Invaders now” TRON, this sci-fi buffet forgets what makes a great movie…characters we like and a story we care about.

Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) has some absentee father issues, which he express every year by screwing with his dad’s old company Encom. That all changes when he’s pulled into the Grid, a reality where “programs” rule and his father Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has been trapped for two decades. To get back home and to beat the meany program his father created (C.L.U. aka Bridges digitized to 35 years old), Sam has to work with a dad he doesn’t know and a lovely warrior program named Quorra (Olivia Wilde).  Get on your light cycles.

Of course I was excited for this movie. Sci-fi movies of the 80s still hold a special place in my heart. I should, of course, realize that nothing can bring back those good feelings, certainly not a visual spectacle that’s all flash and no substance.

The special effects were pretty damn special. From the revamped light cycles to the digital explosion when programs are killed, every detail is eye candy. They really took the original concepts and injected some light and magic steroids in them. Big, bold, loud, flashy…visually, you really couldn’t ask for more.

What you could ask for is more than that though. The acting was serviceable for this type of movie. The weakest link was the lead, Garrett Hedlund. No personality. Does this rising star have any other movies coming up? Oh, wait, I don’t care. The rest of the cast were fine. Jeff Bridges’ Kevin Flynn was a cross between Obi Wan Kenobi and the Dude from the Big Lebowski, which actually works and is fun to watch. It’s too bad he shares screen time with C.L.U. The youngifying of Bridges is cool but it does make the actor look like he’s full of botox…doesn’t help with the emoting. Olivia Wilde was probably the most interesting character while it was just great to see Bruce Boxleitner back, even in a small role.

The story -Predictable with huge plot holes. (Programs? Users? A little background please).  The script -Painful. (they actually said, “have a nice swim.” Ugh) But character-driven story isn’t really why you’re at this movie is it?

For old times sake, the original TRON:

TRON Legacy Rating:
2 stars – it’s a renter. Should you see TRON Legacy?  Sure. It looks great and, much like Avatar, it’s about the experience. Would I recommend it? No.

Random Recommendations
WarGames (1983) – Ferris Bueller almost starts World War 3 when he decides to hack into an artificial intelligence that runs the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Hey, it could happen…in 1983. Would you like to play a game?

The Last Starfighter (1984) – Still holds up after all these years. A trailer park kid, with not a lot of career options, finds out the video game he kicks ass at is actually a training program for an intergalactic starfighter. From the trailer park to universe defender, a hell of a lot of fun. It’s like my recommendations this week could be documentaries.

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  1. Meh. I was never gonna see it anyway, but thanks for confirming my suspicion.

  2. Wecome back to the blog SJ.

  3. Frisky Biscuit says:

    Programs and Users aren’t plot holes. anyone whose seen the original, or has any common sense at all will understand that. I think your forgetting the first movie didn’t have the best acting or script either. And obviously most of the lines in this one were meant to be cheesey, like old 80’s one liners. The movie ties into the old one flawlessly, and is creative with the reasons why the grid is updated and new. Any fan of the original should see this film. It succeeds in being a visually stunning joy ride peppered with some humorous dialogue just like what the original accomplished when it first came out.

  4. Hey “frisky”
    I have to disagree. If the movie is trying to be a stand alone film (which Disney is obviously pushing or it would have re-released the original in Bluray), you have to explain little things like “programs” and “users” and what it all means. Just off handedly mentioning the programs got rid of the users with no explanation is lazy storytelling. I completely agree the original didn’t have the best acting and I really didn’t have a problem with the acting in this one except for the wooden, complete lack of charisma lead actor.
    I am and continue to be a fan of the original. TRON Legacy is a great event movie, just not a great movie.

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