Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ryan Watches A Motion Picture #90: Tron: Legacy (2010)

Called Legacy to force some kind of dignity onto the project, Disney honestly will not give up on this franchise until people accept it and acknowledge that Disney was right all along, and that Tron is actually really cool.

If I can be outrageously generalising for this one, critics almost unanimously write that Tron: Legacy is pointlessly thin. Thin on plot, thin on character, thin on cultural significance. And half of them end off their reviews by saying that they thought it was pretty cool.

That's pretty much what we've got on our hands with this one - a movie that doesn't go very far to inspire or engage or even give you any thrills you haven't seen before in some shape or form, but is pretty cool, dude. It has its moments of "that technology is absolutely impossible" ridiculousness, and dramatic scenes that try too hard and mostly fall flat, but the overwhelming buzzy neon electro-music-video vibe, when combined with the full might of Daft Punk's original soundtrack, cannot be stopped.

Olivia Wilde is good, and her character is certainly the most fun to root for and watch at work. And I don't mean to say that it's because of eye-candy; her costume is strangely modest, given the norm in this sort of flick. I was very surprised to find that her role was refreshingly unsexualised. There's a shade of sexual tension, but her tender fascination with the lead male is understandable, given that he's the son of the man that created her people's universe, and indeed just arrived from beyond it.

They've made Jeff Bridges look 20 years younger for some scenes through the magic of our favourite strategy: CGI. While awkward at points, it can be overlooked once everybody's in the electro-world. In the digital environment, a slightly rubbery face kind of suits Jeff Bridges.

The 3d effects, surprisingly, don't try to slap you in the face with cheap pop-outs, but stays pretty low key and keeps to background atmosphere. The decision to keep most of 3d stuff for the 'in the computer' environment is a smart one, and works to make the 3d tech an aesthetic choice rather than just a barefaced gimmick.

So: One of the coolest Daft Punk videos I've seen.

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