Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tron Legacy Review

For my birthday, my wife gave me tickets to the opening night of the new Tron movie, Tron Legacy 3D.  Despite it's rather dull storyline, I had been something of a fan of the original Tron, particularly that it was a rather groundbreaking movie with computer generated special effects. 

Tron Legacy is a much better movie. It's still a special effects movie, and the storyline is still somewhat lacking, but no more than a lot of other movies that try to be primarily special effects.  Unfortunately, while the effects in the original Tron were, at the time,  fantastic and futuristic, The Tron Legacy effects were nothing special by modern standards.  These days everything is done in the computer anyway, so it isn't that big of a deal anymore.

One other annoying detail, The 3D version isn't exactly 3D all the way through.  It is 2D until Sam Flynn (Kevin Flynn's son) is pulled into the computer (I'll trust that's not a significant spoiler, It wouldn't be much of a Tron movie if someone didn't get sucked into a computer).  Then it's 3D until it shows the real world again, when it goes back to 2D.  All I can figure out is that they were trying to do what The Wizard of Oz did with the color, black and white change when entering Oz.  As far as I'm concerned, it was annoying in both instances, and I think that I'll skip the 3D version of this particular movie in the future.

There is a little anti-capitalist propaganda that I detected in the movie.  It's rather blatant, and the attitude is almost a cartoonish version of progressive thought.  After all, how dare a company try to turn a profit. Kevin Flynn is even more of a hippie type than before, and that really looks like a caricature as well.  Interestingly, there is also very much an anti-utopist message in the movie.  Attempting to create some sort of utopia doesn't work, and totalitarianism generally results.  There is even a strong pro family message to the movie.  The liberal propaganda seems tacked on to get things past the leftists running Hollywood,

One final complaint.  It wasn't really finished.  Most of Tron Legacy almost seemed to be more about setting up the sequel, than having an actual movie.  There were several major plot threads that were never finished or fleshed out.  I suspect at least one, possibly two more movies are in the works.

Overall, if you want a deep movie Tron Legacy isn't it.  It is a nice popcorn type movie with decent if not fantastic (by modern standards) special effects.  The plot is also fairly flat, better than the original, but also rather similar to the original. 

Finally, if you want to see and actually understand Tron Legacy, you should probably rent the original Tron.  There are a number of references that could leave the uninitiated confused.

I intend to get the DVD when it's available, and I'll see the sequels.  It's not a deep or masterpiece of a movie, but it's worth a nice view a few times.

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