Monday, January 3, 2011

I Tron, You Jane

Directed by JOSEPH KOSINSKI
Starring JEFF BRIDGES, GARRETT HEDLUND, OLIVIA WILDE, 
BEAU GARRETT, BRUCE BOXLEITNER, and MICHAEL SHEEN

With all the mixed reviews that 'Tron' has received, I have not been excited to see it. That said, I liked it. I'm not sure if I was pleasantly surprised because my expectations were low or if it was actually a decent film.

Tron: Legacy started out strong. The only major drawback in the film was Jeff Bridges' cgi makeup reversion. Instead of using regular theatrical makeup, they used CGI to make him a younger version of himself, which frankly looked like contrived crap.


Two highlights of the film were the non-Jeff Bridges' visual effects and the music. The visual effects were stunning and a definite reminder that we are not in 1982 anymore. The music was equally stunning. It was a wonderful mixture of sci-fi classical and electronic/trance. A truly beautiful sci-fi combo. I read somewhere that the composer, Daft Punk, used Hans Zimmer as an inspiration--very good choice.

Scene stealer - Although her screen time was minimal, Beau Garrett, who plays Gem, stole every scene that she was in. I thought that her acting was fantastic. Being that she had very few lines, she had to act more so with her eyes and body language. No doubt this movie will get her more attention in film. Olivia Wilde was good, but Beau Garrett was the "it" girl of this film.
 
Beau Garrett
Plot: Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), our hero from the original Tron film returns. In 1989, Kevin is the CEO of ENCOM International. He suddenly disappears. One minor plot hole is that when Kevin disappears his son played by Sam (Garrett Hedlund) appears to be the age of 12, however, later in the film his son is identified as age 27, which would have made him six years old in 1989. The child actor used to portray Sam should have been younger. As the film appears to be set 20 years later, I can only assume that the current year is somewhere around 2010. Again, a minor plot hole, but if that kid was six years old, then I'm 15.

Moving on, twenty years later, Sam is now the main shareholder of the company. He's immature and adventurous, perfect combination. Bruce Boxleitner (the awesome and original "Tron") asks Sam to investigate a mysterious page sent from his father's old arcade. Whilst exploring the arcade, Sam discovers a concealed computer laboratory and is accidentally transported to the Tron Grid.  Sam is immediately captured and taken to the game arena where he endures the games. This portion of the film is very well done and I greatly enjoyed it. Sam is eventually pitted against the game's Champion, Rinzler. Upon noticing that Sam is not a program, but flesh and blood (a user), Rinzler takes him before Clu. Clu is a digital copy of Kevin and the current ruler of the Grid. Clu attempts to kills Sam in the games via light cycle before Quorra (Olivia Wilde) rescues him.

Quorra takes him to an off-grid location and reunites him with the real Kevin Flynn. Kevin explains what's been going on for the past 20 years: how Clu took over, the terrible things Clu's done, and what he's planning next, etc. This is where the movie starts to lull. The action dies down at this point until Sam goes back to the Grid to get to the portal, which is quickly closing.

Sam goes on to meet two interesting characters, Zeus/Castor played by Michael Sheen and Gem played by Beau Grant. He continues on his quest, joined later by Quorra, and his father. Tron, the namesake, makes an appearance as well. You'll have to watch to find out where and how. What follows is a slow-paced adventure that leads to a predictable conclusion.  As I said, Tron: Legacy starts out well, but finishes somewhat sloppily.

THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS

1 comment:

  1. As I watched the movie I had three questions:

    1. How did The Dude from The Big Lebowski end up trapped in the computer in TRON?

    2. What is Michael Sheen (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) doing in this movie, and in such a small role?

    3. Who is the woman all in white?

    I'm afraid Bridges performance just took me out of the movie. I felt he was just recycling The Dude and I couldn't take anything he was saying seriously.

    It turns out Sheen is a huge fan of the original and forced his agent to get him a part in the sequel.

    My eyes kept going to Beau Garret, too, although probably for some different reasons than you.

    ReplyDelete

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