Monday, December 13, 2010

Tron Legacy Review

Right out of the gate I will mention I have always been a fan of the idea of a Cyber World. From the original Tron film up to the Reboot television series, the notion of a living world inside of our electronic devices has always fascinated me. So I have been giddy with anticipation for this movie, hoping it would not disappoint. Have my dreams come true? Let's take a look at what I felt worked, and what failed.

The original Tron was ground breaking at the time in terms of special effects, which puts a lot of stress on Legacy to recreate that effect for a new digital age. In that category I do not think it was able to bring as big an impact, but not for lack of trying. It's just hard to push the limits of computer effects in time where it's become such a staple of film making. While the visuals on display are indeed beautiful to behold, it doesn't go beyond what has been seen before.

Jeff Bridges's younger face being digitally recreated is an impressive step forward, but is still flawed. This particular effect does not quite look real enough just yet. They do their best to hide it behind helmets or shots from behind as often as possible. Linger on the digital face to long and you begin to notice how rubbery and fake it appears.

So that leaves the 3D effects, a format that audiences seem to have burnt out on recently after a number of poor 3D conversions released. Does Legacy push the boundaries of the format? Compared to other recent 3D films it still doesn't bring anything new. In fact portions of the film are in straight 2D, as stated by a text message that pops up at the beginning of the movie.

Were the special effects disappointing? Yes and no, sure maybe they didn't blow my mind but it did not hinder my enjoyment of the film. Overall it's beautiful to watch and a fun ride all the way through.

Next I'd like to mention the score of Tron Legacy written and performed by French artists Daft Punk. Their album Discovery is in my top ten favorite albums of all time, so when news broke that they were providing the score for Tron my only thoughts were "Hell yes." This is where the film does not disappoint. Their music syncs perfectly with the world being presented and helps bring it to life. One piece even shares similar themes to the now infamous booming score of Inception. All I have left to say on the subject is to and buy the soundtrack immediately.

Last is Legacy's story, which has been harshly criticized by others already. Looking through reviews you will see Tron Legacy's plot described as stupid, derivative, incompetent, and soulless. I disagree with such generalizations entirely. This is a science fiction story to the very core, and as a fan of the genre I was sucked into it. Is it the most unique story ever told? Not at all, but it changes things up enough to keep it interesting. It is a familiar tale told within a unique world, making it feel new again.

Ignore what some of the reviews might say, and simply go out and see this film for yourself. This isn't the type of film for everyone, but if it happens to be in your taste you'll find something to love for sure. So don't listen to what others tell you to think, even forget everything I've just said. Go and see it and find out for yourself. If you hate it then I'm sorry and understand why it didn't work for you. Tron Legacy might not have been everything I wanted, but it was all that I needed to enjoy a great film.

Final Grade: A-