Sunday, December 19, 2010

Animated Reviews: Tron Legacy

I don't think that there's any way I can give an objective review of "Tron: Legacy" as the original "Tron" was the quintessential film of my youth. Back in 1982, my father took me to see "Tron" at the Meridian Mall East 4 theatres. The movie "Tron" is one of the main reasons why I became a computer animator--yes, there have been other inspirations over the years--"the Mind's Eye" series of films, for example, along with countless Anime and Disney films--but "Tron" remains the first.

I went into the movie theatre cold. Rather then read previews and look over spoilers, all I did to prepare for Tron: Legacy was listen to the Daft Punk soundtrack and read the graphic novel that describes what happened in the period of time  between the first "Tron" and "Tron: Legacy". I have to admit, no matter how much I enjoy Daft Punk (and how excited I was to hear that they were doing the soundtrack), when I actually heard what they produced, I was uncomfortable, partially because it was so different from their "Interstellar 5555" album--"Tron: Legacy" has a much more heavy industrial feel when compared to the pop/disco/dance club feel of their earlier work.

So, knowing that there was no way that the sequel could ever live up to any expectations due to the impact that the original has had on my life, I was free to experience "Tron: Legacy" as more of a stand-alone film.

All-in-all, it was a good sequel. Like all sequels, it has its flaws. But the positives outweighed the negatives. I would have liked a little more time on the game grid, a story that was a little more solid, and even though it was handled very well, I don't like 3D films. But the acting, visuals, VFX and animation were very good. I liked the '80's culture references and the soundtrack fit the movie perfectly (the Daft Punk cameo was amusing).

I think that the original Tron was a roller-coaster ride because it broke new ground. But by the time "Tron: Legacy" screened, we'd already been through "Ghost in the Shell", "the Matrix" films, and "Technotise, Edit and I"--really, we've been set up to be a little deflated with that 'been there done that' feeling. That's kind of why I feel that if they made the script just a smidge stronger, it would've made a really big difference. But in the end, I feel I got my money's worth out of "Tron: Legacy". I'll go see it again several times before it leaves the theatres and Disney is guaranteed a DVD sale from me next year--I just hope they put a ton of 'making of' features on the disk. :)