Tron Legacy The Reel Deal 1

The Reel Deal

TRON: LEGACY

A Reel Deal Film Review

Film Insight by Tyler Malone

January 2011


Reel Rating:  2 out of 5

“IF THERE WAS A LEGACY TO UPHOLD, THERE IS NO LONGER”

When I first read that Daft Punk would be writing the music for the sequel to Tron, I hailed the idea as genius. Who better fits into the world of Tron than a pair of synth-pop-spewing robots? But then I saw the movie and was reminded that if one aspect of a film is phenomenal and the rest is mediocre, then that outstanding aspect doesn’t help, it hurts. In short, the film’s soundtrack only highlights how disappointing the rest of the film is. It outs everything else in the movie as sub-par.

The soundtrack is a perfect mix of retro Tron-esque sounds and futuristic electronica grooves. Daft Punk has reached into the past and into the future and fused what they’ve found into something entirely of the present. The same cannot be said for the film, which becomes uneven through its attempts to harken back to the original Tron and also to move the franchise (which, let’s face it, belongs in the 80s) into an uninviting future. It also can’t seem to make up its mind whether to take itself seriously or laugh at its own campiness. The whole thing is a disjointed mess filled with plenty of filmmaker fouls. How did great actors give such mediocre performances? Olivia Wilde, who was exceptional on the TV show House, is given a character to play that held my interest for all of ten seconds. The great Michael Sheen is given an even more useless and equally unintriguing character.  And why the hell did they turn Jeff Bridges’ Kevin Flynn into a Lebowski-esque Buddha? In fact, all the religious and philosophical implications of the film seem at best strange and at worst laughably ridiculous. Were the filmmakers trying to be deep or just referential? I honestly couldn’t tell you. Whatever they were trying to do, they failed on many levels–and most disturbingly so, on the entertainment quotient. Couldn’t they have made a film that at least captivated my interest, if they weren’t going to engage my mind?

That said, it isn’t a terrible movie.  2010 gave us plenty of far worse films which succeed in making Tron: Legacy look decent by comparison. But, as always, such a compliment is faint praise.

When the best part of a film is its soundtrack, you know you’ve got trouble. You might as well just listen to the new Daft Punk tunes while imagining a sequel to Tron in your head. If you’ve got even a modicum of imagination and intelligence, your sequel will probably be better than this mess of a movie.

Tron: Legacy is a film directed by Joseph Kosinski, and written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. It stars Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde and Michael Sheen. The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father’s creation turned bad and a unique ally who was born inside the digital domain of The Grid.

LINKS:

Official Site: Tron: Legacy

IMDb: Tron: Legacy

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Written by Tyler Malone

Photography Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Design by Marie Havens

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