Movie review: Tron Legacy

So I have discovered I like doing these movie reviews, and this time instead of doing something that has been out for weeks I would do something that just opened  up (I also figured out that if I review these movies on my blog I can call the movie ticket a business expense.  Life is good).

I just saw Tron Legacy in 3d.  Normally I avoid 3D as it gives me a headache and I don’t think adds a lot to the movie experience, but I felt that if there were one movie I need to see on as an elaborate screen as possible, it’s this one.  Overall, not a bad movie going experience, but not the earth shattering tribute to the first amazing Tron was.  I’ll total it up after going through the points, but let’s see. (Flynn’s Arcade image courtesy of the science fiction t shirts).

Incidentally, if you have not seen or are not a fan of the first Tron, I would say this movie will be entirely wasted on you.  A lot of the issues I was able to forgive due to being a massive fan of the whole Tron thing.  If you are not than you will spend a lot of time wondering what just happened and why.

I approach most Disney movies with the same caution and reservation I would use in approaching a plague-ridden bunny rabbit.  It’s still pretty cute and can be fun to watch, but is also terribly sick and likely running with all kinds of vile pus, bile, and humours.  Disney has a way to taking a great movie concept and forcing it into it’s cookie-cutter, kid friendly PG model (by they way, Disney, kid friendly translates into suck for most adults with a 12 year old or older mentality).  However, since this movie was an original Disney movie I can’t hate on them too much, and while the violence was definitely sanitized for kids they didn’t abuse it too much.

I’ll recap the story briefly, without spoiling anything.  Kevin Flynn has been missing for 21 years.  His dropout, slacker (sort of) son is now the owner of Encom, a massive computer company based on a real life computer company that shall go nameless but rhymes remarkably with LicroToft.  However, he doesn’t run the thing and the company is headed by an evil looking CEO and cocky software developer who show up as the early heavies and the proceed to disappear entirely for the rest of the movie (something tells me some kind of corporate power struggle ended up on the cutting room floor.  These characters serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever).  Sam Flynn, the son, is sucked into the Grid and has to run around, finding his father and saving the world from some ill defined nemesis.

Honestly, the story felt like it had been Skyped in over a dial up connection.  It seems pretty apparent Disney was counting on amazing CGI and special effects to carry the movie which, for the most part, it does.  However, given the fact that guys producing films in their garages have access to the same technology (for proof, check out Iron Sky, a movie I would like to see get finished) building a movie around special effects is not a way to create a movie legacy (haw!  Me so clever).

First the stars.  Jeff Bridges is in the movie.  Two stars.  The special effects are freaking amazing.  Three stars.  The two female characters are super hot and wear skin tight outfits.  One star.  Disney managed to avoid the trap Lucas fell into and not have EVERY REFERENCE FROM THE FIRST MOVIE SHOW UP IN THIS ONE.  One star.  There was an amazing light cycle battle that later showed up again with a really cool twist.  Two stars.  The costumes were super cool and perfectly in theme.  One star.  There were Recognizers.  One star.  The fight sequences were well choreographed and very cool.  One star.  None of the characters annoyed me.  One star.  Total: 13 stars.

Now the black holes.  There were any number “What the hell just happened?” and “Why the hell did he do that?” moments.  There was no apparent motivation for anyone to do anything.  Two black holes.  The story overall kind of blew.  Two BHs.  In spite of being called Tron, Tron himself has a bit role wherein you never see his face and says less than 10 words.  Also, they were gearing up for a huge Tron related surprise that would have been really cool except they decided the audience was brain damaged and just gave it away for no reason.  One BH.  The pacing kind of sucked.  There were more than a few scenes wherein I was seriously in danger of dozing off because absolutely nothing was happening.  Two BHs.  The whole movie seemed to be gearing up towards a huge, epic final battle that never surfaced.  One BH.  In spite of breaking several of the basic laws of thermodynamics there was no attempt to explain where the technology to enter the grid came from like in the first movie.  In fact, they don’t even talk about how they did it or show the transformation process.  I think they just assumed we would all remember it from the first movie.   One BH.  There was no Sark.  One BH.  Total: 10 black holes.

So that gives us a net result of three stars.  Overall, not bad, but not amazing.  However, if I weren’t a fan of Tron I might have been a little harsher and scored it lower.  The fact that I saw the 7pm showing in the only 3D theater for about 15 miles and the place was maybe 20% full might give you an idea of how well it’s going to do at the theater.  Once all the fan boys (like me) see it I don’t know if it really has the legs to pull in the big numbers.  I would say your best bet is see it once, but don’t drag your girlfriend or non-Tron fan friends to see it or you will owe her a serious chick flick for this one.

As for yesterday’s question, it is my unfortunate opinion that Airwolf would beat Blue Thunder, in spite of the fact that Blue Thunder looked 100 times cooler.  Airwolf had more in the way of missiles while Blue Thunder only had the minigun.  Too bad.

Today’s question is might over brain: who would win, Superman verses Professor Charles Xavier?

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