Monday, January 10, 2011

REVIEW: Tron Legacy

To say that Tron: Legacy repeats history by being all visuals, no story. is to say very little. People who aren't overly affected by the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia know this was true of the 1982 original - but those people love it all the same. 

I strongly suspect, however, that when people talk about Tron: Legacy 28 years from now, they won't be viewing it through the nostalgia glasses. If anything, it'll be 3D glasses.

The new movie delivers pretty much what I expected: a tremendous visual kick. It looks great, and director Joseph Kosinski stages the action scenes with flair. A chase with flying vehicles is dazzling, and Kosinski wisely shot the movie with 3D cameras. The added depth doesn't have quite the wow factor of Avatar, but it's one of the rare instances where the third dimension is actually worth the three extra bucks. 

Tron: Legacy, like its predecessor, falls short in the story department, but it's not because there's "no story." It's because the movie takes itself far too seriously. 

What made the original Tron so much fun  was that it was simultaneously ahead of its time and very much of its time. For all its groundbreaking use of computer animation, Tron still had that Disney cheesiness that was typical of the period. It's not as dorky as one of the Herbie movies or The Cat from Outer Space, but Tron has more in common with those films than most geeks would like to admit. 

Although Tron: Legacy is skillfully made, I missed that lightness of touch. The almost always vibrant Jeff Bridges adds some pizazz to the movie, but not enough to make it more than merely good. The original Tron was something special. Tron: Legacy is just another action movie that's solid but not exceptional on the whole.


(Seen 1/4/11 at Showcase Cinemas Springdale in IMAX 3D).

PS - I saw the film with Hannah Poturalski, who is working on her own review. For now, I've gone back and added her viewpoint to my reviews of Black Swan and True Grit. 

No comments: