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Overall Rating

Awesome: 1.59%
Worth A Look33.33%
Average: 30.16%
Pretty Bad: 20.63%
Total Crap: 14.29%

6 reviews, 27 user ratings

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Tron: Legacy
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by Lybarger

"Watching my computer booting up in the morning is more exciting."
1 stars

Back in 1981, a really interesting film called 'Tron' opened to tepid box office returns and geek immortality. I was 15 at the time the film opened and loved the fact that the movie explored new forms of computer animation and had the then exciting concept of taking viewers inside the exotic world inside a computer.

In some ways, "Tron" was a little ahead of its time because computers were becoming more accessible and part of our lives. We were just beginning to understand the power that was on the tips of our fingers. With these factors in mind, itís easy to see how viewers could easily forgive a thin plot and characters who were so threadbare that it was impossible to tell who was human and who was cyber.

After 29 years, computers donít seem that exciting even though theyíve become more entrenched in the way the world works. This goes a long way toward explaining why "Tron: Legacy" isnít any fun. Now that sitting at a computer is as everyday an occurrence as eating breakfast, all the lights and noises are pretty dull even if theyíre in 3D part of the time.

The new "Tron" stars roughly ten years after the first one took place. Developer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has become a tycoon creating an open source operating system as well as a video game made from his early adventures in cyberspace, where he became part of the computer world. As Bridges drones on about his old adventures to the tot playing his son, we see a computer generated version of the actor as a younger man and a plethora of posters that look like the ones that plugged the original film.

Essentially, the filmmakers seem to be patting themselves on the back before theyíve even started. All of the posters seem to do is remind viewers that there was another film that apparently justifies the expensive monstrosity before our eyes. The new computer generated face for Bridges looks unconvincingly stiff and rubbery, as if director Joseph Kosinski wanted to make him look as if he had a series of bad face lifts.

The film doesnít improve as it proceeds. Flynn mysterious disappears, leaving his company in the hands of a greedy board who use the companyís offerings as an excuse to fleece consumers. Flynnís son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) has a huge stake in the corporation, but prefers to spend his time hacking each new release of the operating system, to preserve his long-absent dadís open source dream.

His fatherís old partner Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner from the previous movie) convinces Sam to go back to Kevinís old arcade to see if he might be able to learn something of the older manís goals for the company in order to restore its mission. If this doesnít sound too exciting, all the extra special effects that follow donít help much, either.

Predictably, Sam gets sucked in, but the cyber universe is rather derivative and dull-looking. Kosinski and his collaborators have clearly watched all six of the "Star Wars" movies without figuring out what made them work or what was lacking. Itís as if he thought that George Lucas was a master dialogue writer and an expert plotter.

Sam discovers that Kevin made a computer clone of himself named Clu (played by Bridges with his same goofy rubber CGI face). Clu rules this universe with an iron hand and makes other programs fight each other like gladiators. Fortunately, heís reunited with his dad who now has Bridgesí delightfully weathered features and a wardrobe that appears to have been borrowed from Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Knowing that Bridges would be reprising his previous role, the screenwriters must have spent their time copying every bit of dialogue he uttered as The Dude in "The Big Lebowski." The new characters with the exception of a tough program in a skintight outfit named Quorra (Olivia Wilde from "House, MD") arenít very interesting. This probably has more to do with the way the costume flatters her physique than with the script. To call the protagonists one-dimensional implies more depth than they actually have.

Letís say theyíre half-dimensional.

Some formidable thespians like James Frain ("Elizabeth") and Michael Sheen ("The Queen") have sizable roles, but make little impression. It could be argued that "Tron: Legacy" was created simply for glowing eye-candy, but the new filmís action scenes are simply gargantuan expansions on the gimmicks from the previous film. The visuals are simply cold, glowing metallic replications of the sights from "Blade Runner" without Sir Ridley Scottís sense of gritty beauty.

The 3D, even in IMAX, isnít that well presented, and the subject matter is so lifeless that itís like staring at a widescreen, Dolby Digital presentation of dried grass. On second thought, that might actually be more edifying to look at.

In the years to come, "Tron: Legacy" will probably be best known for the reckless way that it consumed Disneyís financial and artistic capital and for it how it used the latest digital technology to give audiences mass fits of narcolepsy.

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originally posted: 12/19/10 15:29:23
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User Comments

8/27/12 David Pollastrini Found it rather dull. 1 stars
1/28/12 Kathryn Martinez I liked the plot. It had my heart racing during a few scenes! 4 stars
1/16/12 zenny CGI? check. Lighted costumes? check. Plot? oops. 2 stars
11/25/11 Ronin Uneven, still I recommend it 4 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles FUN 4 stars
4/19/11 mr.mike Not bad , and a big improvement on the original. 4 stars
3/21/11 Guido Sanchez Light on the story, but gorgeous and opens up a whole new world of possibility 4 stars
3/11/11 williams Jet Bradley can kick Sam Flynn's ass anyday. But at least Quorra is less scary than Mercury 3 stars
2/20/11 RePTaR Liked the idea of incorporating the 2D->3D shift, but the story was lacking. 3 stars
1/24/11 bill norris If nothing else it has 1 of the best scores ever! Go Daft Punk. 4 stars
1/22/11 Dark Guardian 3D was flat..script was rewritten and it on black on black.. 3 stars
1/19/11 Jack Terrible. Awful. A WASTE. 28yrs & this is the best they could do? 1 stars
1/18/11 sunny day Bring back the real computer lingo and the circuit board outfits, you stupid assholes. 1 stars
1/14/11 Dan I saw this in Imax 3d, it was pretty trippy and cool as dix bros, you should watch it 4 stars
1/01/11 Ming Crappy story..Great special effect 2 stars
12/30/10 Faraz J Crap story. Crap dialogue. Ok grpahics. 2 stars
12/27/10 DK Beautifully designed and fine in the moment, but on reflection the script was quite weak 3 stars
12/26/10 M Stellar visuals, pumping sound, authentic 80's plot 5 stars
12/25/10 Roy Smith Boring characters, nothing but CGI, $16 for this? 2 stars
12/23/10 SteveO Like Ultraviolet with Better Graphics. Bridges calls everyone "Man" like The Digital Dude. 2 stars
12/23/10 dr. strangelove absolutely stellar visuals and sound. absolutely bland plot and character development. 3 stars
12/23/10 Ace-of-Stars Dull & Disjointed; good for 1-time watch & just for nostalgia's sake, nothing spectacular 2 stars
12/21/10 tex Where are the funny PC themes? This looks like bad comic book shit in outer space instead. 2 stars
12/20/10 Cy I 2nd what Karamashi said. Flawed and beautiful. 4 stars
12/19/10 Karamashi They remade a flawed, yet deep and beautiful movie. 4 stars
12/18/10 bored mom The 2003 game Tron 2.0 has a more interesting story + better use of B.Boxleitner & C.Morgan 3 stars
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  17-Dec-2010 (PG)
  DVD: 05-Apr-2011


  DVD: 05-Apr-2011

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