Saw TRON: Legacy this past weekend. I liked it and I recommend seeing it in the theatre vice the old flat screen at home.
Critics and fans alike are all over the web about TRON, some love it, some hate it, some just liked it. Its been called “awesome”, “thrilling”, “slick”, “stunning” as well as “unimaginative”, “typical” and “dated.” That’s a huge range. It seems to me that the movie suffers from massive over-expectation. Geeks world wide are totally geeking out about it, critics are attacking it’s storyline (and holes within), and non-sci-fi moviegoers are trying to figure out why a 28 year old movie is being remade in the first place.
It’s hard to make a movie these days!
The immediate impact of this movie is that it is absolutely, amazingly beautiful. I’m serious, the cinematography and effects of this movie are amazing and I defy anyone to say different. It is indeed a stunning display of modern sci-fi, one I would put on par with Cameron’s Avatar. But I will give a nod to several critics, as they are right, and say that despite it’s beauty it doesn’t have the richness of the original. Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of Cameron’s Avatar is the film’s willingness to dig deep and create a richly textured and detailed world — a world you could believe was real, from the flora and fauna to the alien language and religions of the characters. The original TRON was very much like that, but TRON: Legacy is not. Sad but true. And this, I think, is what most of us geeks are bothered by. We have come to expect our blockbuster sci-fi to be that detailed, and this movie just doesn’t do that.
Is this a bad thing? I don’t know. I noticed it, but it didn’t bother me. Others may not feel this way. Is the movie good? Yeah, it’s good. A little shallow in the story department, but not horribly so. Definitely designed for a sequel and several multi-media tie ins, but, hey, what isn’t these days? Is the movie an attempt to launch a franchise? Yeah, it totally is. But, there are much worse franchises that could be launched. TRON is an idea that has long had it’s due and I, for one, and glad to see it getting some spotlight.
I hope that there is another sequel, as I’d like to see the story continue. Maybe even a cartoon a’la Clone Wars. I could get into that. While I would definitely enjoy seeing more of the story, I would also love to see more of the world of TRON and the Grid. What was it, exactly? What was Flynn really making and why, exactly, was CLU so dangerous? What answers can the ISO’s provide? How did CLU make a call to Alan’s pager and for God sake, what is the fate of Tron (the guy, not the movie) and Flynn? I’m on the edge of my seat, here!
As a parting shot, there has been a lot of chatter about Comic Con movies, fans, and box office. The basis being that catering to fans means no one (including fans, oddly enough) will come to see your movie and it will suck at the box office. I think this is kind of a bunch of crap. The recent Batman flicks definitely catered to Comic Con and fans, and they did pretty darn good. So did Spiderman and Iron Man. But, those were great movies. Watchmen, Superman Returns, Scott Pilgrim, Iron Man 2 — not so great movies. They weren’t terrible, but they weren’t great and their box office showed it. The key here is that fans are just as discriminating as any other movie goer, maybe even more so. If the studio short changes the content and takes the fans for granted they won’t help the movie succeed. And, quite frankly, we listen to critics a lot more than most. If a comic site, say CBR or Newsarama, doesn’t like the movie, chances are fans aren’t going to go see it and sit back and wait for the DVD. I do that to a lot of movies — when the ticket to a matinee is $12, I get selective. If it’s worth seeing on the big screen (and TRON: Legacy is), I’ll go see it. If not, then I’ll wait a couple months and Netflix it.
So, to sum up, TRON: Legacy is worth seeing on the big screen and deserves your entertainment dollar. True, it’s not going to win a best screenplay award or anything, but it’s beautiful, energetic, and very entertaining. Not to mention the amazing soundtrack by Daft Punk truly deserves to be heard through the big speakers — check out the video below of a taste of what I’m talking about. I saw it in 3D, not sure if that’s necessary — up to you. Watching this bit of slick cyberpunk is an afternoon well spent.