Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tron Legacy mini review

I'm currently wired on caffine and can't sleep right now (it's a long story.) so why not be productive AND BLOG? B]

Tonight I saw Tron Legacy

First and foremost, I can't stress how gorgeous Tron Legacy is (see above pic for case and point). If you're going to see it, don't let me build up your expectations too much, but WOW. It's all eye candy. Delicious, delicious eye candy. The visuals are really what carried me through the movie, if anything else, and I can't say that for Avatar, at least for me.

Describing the soundtrack is impossible in family friendly terms, in the good way. Just listen:

Now, I've been reading a lot about the how the plot is boring and the movie is lengthy- these are partially true. At its core, Tron Legacy is an action movie with some father/son action built in. The pacing left something to be desired as well; The beginning of the movie is very action heavy, so when it gets to the middle part, it starts to slow down. Don't get me wrong, the slower stuff is absolutely essential to understanding the plot and the characters (and I loved it.), but the contrast between the balls-to-the-wall action sequences (Did I mention that this movie is gorgeous?) and then the slower middle bit makes it feel lethargic. This, unfortuantely, stretches out to the end as well, which isn't to say that the end is boring, but compared to the beginning, it's slower.

The problem, in my recent-college-grad opinion, is that it hits too hard too fast at the beginning. As a bad analogy, think of it like this:

You're going scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef. The moment you jump in, a huge school of manta rays, great whites, and the legendary Kracken form a school around you and shortly depart, leaving you with the reef. It's not that the reef itself isn't also beautiful, but compared to the sheer excitement of what you just saw, it kind of dampers it a bit.

That's how I felt about Tron Legacy; it's not that the middle and end are boring; they're paced like any other action movie would be. It's just that the opening is so exciting that, in comparison, the middle and end FEEL like they drag.

HOWEVER, having said that, I don't know how I would have done it any differently to make a more solid plot or a more solid pacing. The slower bits are, again, absolutely essential to understanding the world of the grid. The end wraps up everything and our heroes finally confront the villains. Besides maybe extending the conflict/fight at the end to make it more satisfying and add more tension, for all of its problems, I wouldn't change a thing about Tron Legacy. It's not the greatest script/plot in the world (the first Tron had a pretty cheesetastic script/plot as well), but it's still a very good movie.

I am going to see Tron Legacy again, perhaps twice. I rarely want to see movies in theaters more than once, but that's how good I think this movie is.

1 comment:

joe said...

I enjoyed the movie, although I do feel like it's been Michael Bay-ified a bit for this century- perhaps that's what people will remember us for (Star Trek, anyone?)

as an action movie, I felt like Tron 2.0 was great- entertaining, lots of eye candy and explosions.

Looking at it in comparison to the original, it's sad to see it has lost a lot of it's original depth; Tron was about deeper questions about design, God, and similarities between our creations and ourselves. Programmers could watch and sympathize with the ideas posed with the programs - I specifically look back at the byte joke, a single entity that could only say "yes" or "no."

It's not that this version didn't try to touch on those, it was just saying the same things the original said and trying to say "family is important." As a result, there's a destruction of the analogy for the sake of explosions - programs that have leisure time? drinking? Isos (what are these anyhow)?

IMO, you could begin to improve upon the movie by not introducing such exposition heavy elements such as a son-without-a-mother-that-dies-between-sequels-that-takes-a-narrator-to-get-EVERYONE-up-to-speed. It gets us into the world, but its complex nature leaves a lot of loose strings at the end (for a sequel).

Ultimately, I can't really fault the writer and director for making the movie they have - it's fun, it's visually wonderful, and has a great soundtrack. They were given source material that started and ended a story, as the original Tron came to us with a story to tell and a truth about ourselves that came from a programmer's search for proof of his invention. When the credits closed and proved its case, it's hard to pop its seams and rewire it for the future.