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Tron: Legacy

Movie Review by Keith Kelly

I had high expectations for “Tron: Legacy”. The 1982 original film had groundbreaking special effects, and helped bring to life the new world of electronic gaming. It looked unlike any other film of its day. However, the film lacked heart, and left you a bit cold. It was a disappointment at the box office, but developed a cult following.

Fast-forward to today.

A new generation of filmmakers takes on the Tron storyline in an effort to woo today’s web-savvy, game-playing audience, utilizing the latest and greatest advances in computer generated imagery. Unfortunately, this latest version also misses the mark.

There is a lot to admire in “Tron: Legacy”. It’s the kind of film that is perfect for 3D and Imax-which is where I viewed it. It’s a spectacle of light and sound. The visuals are a marvel to look at. The soundtrack by Daft Punk is a perfect compliment to the visuals. Newcomer Garrett Hedlund, who plays the son of Kevin Flynn, had a cool, cocky James Dean-like edge to him. Olivia Wilde is both beautiful to look at, and has some kick-ass fighting moves. Another big score is the return of Jeff Bridges as the creator of this computer world. So on paper (and in trailers) this film looks like a great, grand adventure.

Regrettably, like the original, it’s all sparkle with little substance. Oscar winner Jeff Bridges mostly sleepwalks thru this film, and is the biggest waste of talent. He’s got a couple of funny quips, but spends most of the movie in meditative poses, or spouting exposition about the storyline. Thru the magic of de-aging special effects, Bridges also plays a younger version of himself, shown in flashbacks, and also his evil Tron world alter ego. The effect almost works, but ends up making the characters look unintentionally creepy-especially around their mouths. They almost look like some of the folks from the animated Polar Express film.

The script never gives you any reason to root for the one-dimensional characters or fear for their predicaments in this video game world made real. There is very little depth to the heroes or the villains-they’re just cogs in the plot. The action scenes, while visually impressive, are flat and sometimes hard to follow. The spectacle overload actually starts to get a bit boring after awhile, and I found myself almost nodding off at times.

Maybe they’ll finally get it better in Tron 3. I give “Tron: Legacy”, directed by Joseph Kosinski, a grade of “C+”. I’m Keith Kelly. Keith Kelly TV

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