Tuesday, January 04, 2011

"Tron: Legacy" 3D (2010) - Movie Review

“Tron: Legacy” is a shallow piece of work in the field of science fiction but as a visual spectacle it truly paints the screen with breathtaking races and laser colour forms and is nothing short of brilliant. This film is the sequel to the 1982 “Tron” unseen by me. It takes you to the inner world of a program, literally. Directed by debutant Joseph Kosinski, this is a film that kept me charged and thrilled for its unique experience of digitized motor races and disc throwing fights and baffled me with the extent in which it shamelessly empties any iota in having characters or story. The result is “Tron: Legacy” in my fact book comparison lines up in between the lowest in the scale “Avatar” and highest in the scale” 300”.

Jeff Bridges is Kevin Flynn, a successful software engineer turned CEO of a prosperous company ENCOM. Flynn was digitally sucked into a system and his digitized form built the empire in the hopes of having a perfect software. Unfortunately all the software engineers know that there is no perfect software. The program form he created Clu (Jeff Bridges made young by graphics) does not understand that and begins to become the villain for the screenplay written by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis.

I learned that there were not many explanation given about the physical body sucked into a virtual world in the 1982 film which I can live without. Sometimes a phenomenon has to exist to provide clever plot points and elevate the film being the stepping stones to a productive and convincing science fiction experience. “Inception” will be a recent example where they do not go about the actual technology but use it as a tool. “Frequency” is another film that comes to my mind which employs the communication of past to the present and somehow evades the paradox on a surface level. “Tron: Legacy” is not one of those films.

Kevin vanished one fine night and the only logical thing in this illogical film is that he got stuck inside that world. Son of Kevin Flynn grows up to be Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) yearning for his dad to return and finally giving up. He grows up to be an extreme sports guy jumping off buildings and messing up the board of directors during their launch of product of his father’s empire. As the film would not make any sense without Sam getting into this world, the filmmakers need no persuading to make Sam getting into his dad’s old arcade game center and finding out the secret office. He gets in.

Then begins the excellence in treating the audience with stunning animation and effects. It is perfect imagination, if you can call perfect imagination of a digitized world as a blend of electronica and games. Sam gets dressed up with a disc on his back which is like a fingerprint of his identity in the system. That disc can also be used as a deadly weapon to attack his opponent in a game.

While I was being enthralled by this presentation, I took my memory back to “Avatar” experience on how spellbound I was to see this amazing technology opening doors and revolutionizing the film industry. During that film it lasted for 30 minutes and eventually I began to see past the technology and find a good film. It never was found. “Tron: Legacy” does not have a good film either but I have to say it with a guilt that it kept me going through its ridiculous screenplay. Much like “2012” I was awed by the graphics and it had a knack to make it a thrill ride of a unique kind for that time it runs. Even in this unabashed nature of screenplay being a guide to graphic effect filled fights, there is subtlety in their subconscious honesty. Or I conveniently made myself see the other side when the foolishness happens.

“Tron: Legacy” as my experience with “2012” while had me entertained has to be slapped to provide a satisfaction for the confused artistic integrity of mine. As a science fiction it flunked miserably. There is Quorra (Olivia Wilde) who rescues Sam from the midst of a fight and takes him to his father Kevin. Sam never asks who or what she is and why is she along with Kevin in a remote out lands. Jeff Bridges’ Kevin Flynn is aged and they have dinner. Quorra expresses emotions. Does it mean the virtual world is similar to real world? Or how can a program exit out of the system and exist in real world? There can be forgiveness in the plot and logic for any film if it survives the time without reminding of its stupidity. The risk is higher when it is a science fiction as the quest of reasoning grows proportionally. “Tron: Legacy” is a beautiful presentation with some great musical justice done by Daft Punk but it falls into the abyss in giving a film without content in it.

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