When I first saw the teaser trailers for this film, I was completely won over. With its slick, cyberpunk look, its equally shiny score (created by Daft Punk of all peoples) this was a film that I wanted to see for all the wrong reasons. Not because I wanted to see another Tron movie so much, but because of what it was. With the endless flood of bad 3D films, here was one that might just be perfect for the 3D genre.
Well, I surely wasn’t disappointed on that front. Tron Legacy is a very pretty, very nice sounding film. Pity it doesn’t get too much further than that.
Be warned. Spoilers beyond.
I have to shamefully admit that I can’t remember much about the original Tron, despite growing up in the 80s. I’m sure the plot exposition that Jeff Bridges (Kevin Flynn, that is) gives us complete with flashbacks in cool looking pixelation sums up the first film well enough. The sequel sees him trapped in the Grid, with his son Sam eventually getting drawn in as well, before they both push on with the main plot of the film; escaping.
The plot is rather by the books, with very little in the way of surprises. We know that the first time Sam meets his father, its not his father, but his clone Clu tasked with creating the perfect grid. We can’t even be surprised that Clu is doing exactly what Flynn asked for, creating the perfect, and most ordered grid to the point of dystopia. We know that despite chasing them the whole film, Tron is going to save them in the end.
It’s a curious thing this film, moving slow between large tracts of dialogue (I finally get my wish of a drama film filmed in 3D) and very well done action sequences. The film almost goes to great places when it comes to philosophical ideals about the digital world and such. There’s a great scene when Clu, Flynn’s total opposite, spouts the same rhetoric about freedom of information but that’s about as close as the plot gets to anything more than vague chats over dinner, and long discussions about races that were wiped out in the last film.
In the end, it’s the things that I went to see this film for that I think it made it good. The look of the film is incredible. The 3D technology is neither overdone, nor intrusive, but uses it better than Avatar did, in my opinion. Clu was an exciting piece of work. Given that he was a CG based character, who probably fooled most of the audience into believing he was a human actor is a very cool thing. The score was great stuff too. Pity though that it’s all these things that really made the film, rather than the plot.
Not to say it’s a bad film. It’s not. It just doesn’t do much to rise above the glitz and shine of the look and feel. In the end, it’s still a pretty standard plot running through a very nice piece of technology.
There could be a sequel. It’s set up for one. But with the film getting very mixed reviews, I doubt it. Having said that, I think I read rumors of a TV series.