Hey internet! It be high holiday times. I recently finished my Christmas shopping and am getting all "in the spirit"...or at least as in the spirit as someone who is as dead on the inside as me can possibly get. Oh well. Tonight I went and saw Tron in THREE GLORIOUS DIMENSIONS. So let's talk about that.
So, Tron. It's pretty crazy. And crazy pretty, that too. A flashback to the wacky year 1989 starts things off as a young Sam Flynn is told the story of Tron by his Dad, Kevin Flynn from the original movie, played by Jeff Bridges...wait, that's not Jeff Bridges. Oh no...
That's right, Flashback Jeff Bridges is CGI Jeff Bridges. And God Damn if he isn't the most unsettling thing that has ever pranced across my Uncanny Valley. It's supposed to be a bonding moment with father and son but I kept waiting for him to murder little Sam, all while with that vaguely cheerful look plastered across his horrifying mug.
So Horror-Dad tells Sam all about the Grid and Tron and stuff and promises to show him everything. And then he disappears for twenty years, leaving his technology empire to his son, along with a host of Daddy Abandonment Issues, which manifest themselves in Big Sam, played by Garrett Hedlund, in the form of dangerous motorcycle driving, dropping out of college and skydiving off of buildings when it is in no way necessary to skydive off of buildings. He also pouts more than any grown man ought to.
So one night, one of his dad's old partners gets a page (On a pager! Is it from the original Tron?) from Kevin Flynn's old office/arcade/lair of the eighties. Sam, despite himself and his bag o' issues, is intrigued and checks it out, discovering a hidden office, a mysterious computer and before you can say "beam me up" he somehow laser-beams himself into the Grid. Don't think about it too hard.
Once there he is immediately thrust into crazy life-or-death bloodsport whatnot which has nothing to with anything but looks cool as hell. This sort of confusing awesome happens alot:
So yeah, after Sam triumphs in his gamery, he meets the leader of the world, a program named Clu made in the likeness of his fath-ohgoddammitno!
So Clu tries to kill Sam but he is rescued just in time by Cora, one of the last programs loyal to his dad, played by Olivia Wilde.
So Cora takes Sam to this remote hideaway thingie and he finally reunites with his dad, who thank God, looks like a normal human being, if a bit beardy. The two awkwardly do stuff until they form a plan to stop Clu and escape back into the real world. Along the way they will meet the wildly British Zuse, played by Michael Sheen with camp excellence, battle against a reprogrammed Tron who has zero character development and only exists so the title isn't completely arbitrary, and suffer through Jeff Bridges oscillating between Neo in the Matrix (he makes things go boom! It's awesome!) and The Dude. For reals. I dunno why but every sentence ends with man, he uses the phrase "digital jazz," meditates, wears flowy robes and after reprogramming an elevator that was hurtling them to their deaths, tells his son "you're messing with my zen thing, man!" Apparently his twenty years as Lord of the Grid have turned him into some kind of techie hippie Zen master.
So, good things: the 3D is AWESOME. They make a point of not using it in the scenes that take place in the real world, creating a sort of Wizard of Oz type thing, in that there's only 3D in the Grid. And it looks cool as hell, the special effects are shiny and glowy and what you would expect the place to look like. Also, Daft Punk did the soundtrack and it is EPIC. And this is coming from someone who's not really a fan of techno or electro type stuff. But they really did a great job, the music stands out without being obtrusive and really helps immerse you in the world of the movie.
So yeah, from a story and character standpoint, Tron Legacy is cheesy and predictable, with so-so acting and a thin plot. It's visually astounding and has a great soundtrack and is, I think, less offensive to your higher senses than Avatar. So go see it for the fun ride, and definitely see it in 3D if you're going. It's worth it. Tron Legacy cycles away with two and a half catapults out of five.
This is Sugary Cynic, hoping CGI Jeff Bridges won't try to kill her in her sleep. 'Night!