Double Feature: TRON: Legacy (2010)

TRON: Legacy. Where to begin? Oh, I know. I will begin with why I wanted to see TRON: Legacy in the first place. To be honest, I have not even seen the first one nor did I know, at the time, the plot premise of original TRON.

So why you may ask? The special effects. Yes, my one and only reason to see the movie was to witness at how badass the effects were going to be. Very few movies inspire me with this type of motivation. I am not picky about my movies in general but if the plot looks downright cheesy or stupid, I will not watch it. Tron fit into the former category but I badly wanted to see some awesome computer generated effects at work. Tranformers 2 and even to an extent Avatar are the other movies that had me going for effects, not plot.

On to the movie. Like I said, it looked cheesy. Guess what? It was cheesy. Not that it started out that way. It had a decent beginning but progressed to mediocre when the lines got ridiculous (I never want to hear Jeff Bridges say radical again unless it is in the Big Lebowski sequel) and the acting went from okay to bad. I was surprised at how much I disliked Olivia Wilde’s acting. As number 13 in the show House, not only is she hot but she nails her pessimistic yet smart ass personality. In TRON, she is still hot but her character went from world weary to little kid innocence that felt like she was trying way to hard to pull off. Artifice was in her voice and the simple fact that she had to like the main guy, his name is Sam by the way, put me off completely.

As I previously mentioned, Jeff Bridges said the word radical. It never felt more out of place. Don’t get me wrong. I like the guy. I just didn’t like how he tried to be 10 different personalities at once. And I am not talking about his alter ego who is a parallel to Palpatine. I cannot even get started on how obvious, and how many, Star Wars references there were. Young Jeff Bridges was just one of many of those references. Older Jeff Bridges tried to be Zen Master. I thought he was channeling Yoda but every so often hints of Obi-Wan circa The Revenge of The Sith would come out. Jeff Bridges can be a lot of things but Zen master is not really one of them. To his, and the movie’s credit, he acknowledges this so it offsets the awkwardness. Good thing the movie wasn’t too deep or his character flaws would have been even more emphasized.

The character that stood out went by the name Zeus. What a crazy sonavabitch he was. And it worked. His craziness, amidst all the Zen and stupidity, gave the movie some sanity with funny moments and a bite of betrayal. Too bad he was only in the movie for a short time. I felt like if he hung around longer I would have enjoyed everything more.

I won’t even mention the young stud Sam. He was man candy (very good looking man candy) and not much else. ‘Nuff said.

Funny thing is, the movie had some deep content. Deals with life being created, god complexes, genocide. But don’t get too excited. Nothing is ever delved too deeply so any hope of having a deep conversation about these topics in relation to the movie will be difficult. It is not even the rating. Ratings don’t bother me unless they dumb it down on purpose. I didn’t feel like it was stupid. Just shallow. Because we all know the focus was the action, not the storyline.

And let’s talk about that action. For this is where the movie shines. The motorcycle scenes and the final battle were my favorite. The cinematography was nothing short of amazing. To be blunt, I practically had the big O watching some of the scenes at how gorgeously they were executed. The special effects made the action seem way cooler than it was. In hindsight, they were using lightsabers and anything else, Star Wars/Star Trek related in terms of technology. But it looked so damn cool you temporarily forget about it. It looked real and felt like you could touch the world of TRON it was so magnificently portrayed. If you can afford IMAX, do it. It will blow you away. I thought the critics were being kind but this movie is really worth seeing solely for the special effects. See? I am not the only one who sees movies for that reason.

For younger viewers, and even people who can overlook cheesy lines and only semi good acting, this will be your cup of tea. For those who are not interested in the plot, and have more snobbish albeit good tastes when it comes to movies, pay matinee, sit in the front, and watch it for the effects. It really is that good.

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