It took a little effort, but Chudd and I finally got to see Tron: Legacy last night at the nearest (…a mere 35 miles away, and only a 2 and 1/2 hour wait in line…) IMAX theater. I don’t want to spoil too much about the film, and I know several thousand professional critics and bloggers have already beat me to it, but for what it’s worth here is our take on Tron: Legacy in 3D.
Like I said, it’s been reviewed, and, from what I’ve read, not very well received by some critics. So going into the film I expected the worst (you know Phantom Menance meets Wolverine meets Battlefield Earth type bad). As I walked out of the theater though, I couldn’t help thinking that that I kind of liked it. Like Chudd predicted in an earlier post, it was visually amazing, and overall I thought it was fun film to watch. So I’m going to critique this like I had to critique when I took all those art classes back in college, by first saying what I liked, and then what I didn’t like. Warning, from this point on their may be a few spoilers though I’ll do my best to avoid any major reveals that might ruin the film for you.
The visual effects were amazing, and thanks to the surround sound in the IMAX theater, the sound effects and musical score were awesome! If there is one thing this film should get credit for, it’s getting Daft Punk to do the score. Also, going back to the visual effects, usually I feel too much CGI can ruin a film. Like Avatar, for example. For me it was a two hour Garfield/smurf/Dances With Wolves cartoon, and all the 3D/ CGI stuff didn’t help save the story. However, in Tron Legacy I felt that they found a right mix of real life action and CGI visual effects. In fact, I feel this film would look just as good on normal 2D screens, and I kind of regret paying all that money to see it in 3D. Also, I liked how the film kept a regular beat of action mixed with moments of calm where you get to survey and take in the world they created. Finally, One of the things I liked most about this film is Jeff Bridges performance as both the real life Flynn and voice acting for Clu. I don’t think I would have liked this movie as much had they not brought Bridges back into the role.
I don’t want to say the story was all bad, because I feel that they did a decent job of setting up for future sequels, and there’s definitely potential for more. Also, I don’t want to reveal too much, because I really hate spoilers. I will say over all the story seemed to be kind of dry, and a little clichéd at times. There were a few moments in the film where I was able to predict what the following scene or line of dialogue was going to be. Also, there were some inconsistent elements that kept popping up. They were just little things, but they were bothersome enough to take me out of the film. One of which is the moment Flynn’s son Sam is discovered by the Programs to be a User. In a disk battle between Sam and Tron (Rinzler I think was his new “bad guy” name), Sam is knocked down to the ground, and a single drop of blood reveals him to be a User. Now this is where the nerd in me steps in because, if Sam, or Flynn, or anyone else had to be digitized to enter the computer world, then how the hell is he still bleeding? Wouldn’t he be all pixelated like the programs in that world? A small thing, but still, it bugged me. Also, Why was Clu trying to take over the real world? If this was a closed network grid, removed from the World Wide Web of information (as I thought it was, I could be wrong on that point…), then wouldn’t it have been a better story to have him and his army gearing up for a siege and transformation of the internet (maybe trying to pull a Skynet sort of thing), than having a war in our world? These are just small examples and I don’t think they would bother anybody else, but I don’t know, it “irked” me. Tron’s conversion back to the “light” seemed pretty weak. I didn’t really care for the ending either. That I definitely won’t spoil for you, but I feel they could have done a better job.
Overall, I would say, yes, this movie is worth seeing in the theater (something I don’t recommend with most films these days). The visual effects and surround sound alone make it worth it, but you don’t need to pay the extra amount to see it in 3D. The 3D doesn’t really help it out all the much, and can at times get in the way. Save yourself some money and see it in 2D. I honestly hope they make more Tron films. They created an amazing world that we can all geek-out over, and It would be a shame to leave it at these two movies (we want more dammit!). Hopefully they’ll put a little more time into the story next time.