Sunday, December 19, 2010


Tron: Legacy was only O.K. for me. Daft Punk’s musical score was ridiculously amazing (I'll be buying it this week) and the art direction/architectural design aspects of the movie were very unique and eye-catching, but overall, the movie didn't do a ton for me as a whole. Olivia Wilde is very hot and alluring but I thought Garrett Hedlund, the lead, was average at best.  Michael Sheen completely stole the show as an over the top nightclub owner how knows more than he lets on.  And while it was fun to see Jeff Bridges hamming it up in dual roles (the eerie looking de-aged version of Bridges was a neat trick), everything had a weightless/soulless quality which resulted in a “who gives a shit?” mindset while I watched.   Maybe that was the point considering the all-digital-environment that the characters were living in, but something tells me it wasn't. It probably had more to do with the fact that the screenplay was a disaster of half-formed ideas and notions, and that nothing was ever adequately or sensibly explained.  This is director Joseph Kosinski's first feature film and it clearly showed.  Coming from the world of commercials and architecture, it’s clear that he’s got a sharp, lightning-quick visual sensibility, and some of the big action set-pieces definitely left an impression.  It’s just that literally everything else in the film fell short. The dialogue was painfully on the nose and the multiple/endless scenes of exposition made similar scenes in Michael Bay's output look like quiet moments out of an Antonioni film. It's the kind of movie were bong hits or a nice gel tab of acid would improve everything.  All that said, I was never bored, the sound design was fucking tremendous, and there were enough money shots for me to recommend it to hard-core sci-fi fans. The blue/black/gray color design with bold swatches of neon orange and yellow were very interesting and unlike anything I've ever seen. It's just that the whole endeavor seemed more like a piece of video/concept art that you'd see in the bowels of the Getty Museum than a fully fleshed-out feature film.  It’s almost as if Kosinski showed a pre-viz version of the light-cycle chase to Disney execs, and then the execs green-lit the film based on that one piece of action, under the mandate that they do 5 or 6 similar scenes, and then fill the rest with techno mumbo-jumbo that nobody in the audience will be able to understand much less make sense of.  When in doubt, confuse your audience, and then pummel them with shiny colors and flashing lights.  Tron: Legacy will work for you if your desire is to see some cool shit on an Imax screen.  Don’t expect anything more.

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