Should’ve known, should’ve known.
If this had been any other science-fiction film I wouldn’t have bothered watching it, on account of its mediocre ratings on RT. As it was, the trailer looked immensely enticing, what with all those sleek, gleaming white settings and cool neon lights. And those light-cycles! Finally I know the origin of (or at least the inspiration behind) the light-cycle races I play on my iPhone. Between the obviously high production value and the visually appealing costumes and the cool light-cycle and disc battles, I was sold.
So it happened that I had originally intended to watch The Social Network, but the disc was incompatible with my player, and so I settled down to watch this
Tron: Legacy is basically just another textbook example of a summer block-buster, where the screen is populated by eye-candy, impressive set-pieces that smack of an equally impressive budget, bucket-loads of special effects that contribute to our desensitisation to special effects, and characters whose combined personalities and developments amount to null.
To break it down,
– The cast actually do quite an okay job. All things considered, Olivia Wilde probably delivers the best performance: her Quorra is likely the ass-kicking side-kick babe with the most amount of personality of all ass-kicking side-kick babes to grace the silver screen. She has a child’s naivety, an unabashed passion for the things she likes, and a remarkable way of coming out of a faint that doesn’t seem forced. Plus she kicks ass as a warrior. The final scene as she looks upon a sunset for the first time in wonder was the most emotionally stirring scene in the whole film (in part also because it was the last scene. Phew.)
– Visual effects. In place of watching the entire film, I recommend just watching (i) the light-disc duel; (ii) the light-cycle battle; (iii) the fight in the club; (iv) the air-chase. That should suffice.
– It’s emotionally bland, and extremely so. I could sense that Sam’s conservation with Quorra partway through the film was supposed to invoke emotions of, umm, I don’t know, them falling for each other? It’ll have you falling asleep.
– Illogicalities and fallacies. Some things are just never explained, and others are just plain ridiculous. Flynn Senior takes one look at Tron and the latter all of a sudden remembers who he was? Why does Quorra give herself up when it achieved no purpose other than to complicate matters and force Sam to rescue her? (Okay, I know this point was largely influenced by my reading Screen Rant’s review, but still.) How do the ISOs hold the key to changing our world? It’s never explained.
I think I can now sort of emphasise with those people who say “I want my 2 hours back!”. Sort of, because this movie wasn’t all that bad. But it was most definitely nothing next to The Social Network.
Rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Rating on IMDb: 6.9
Viewing history: Seen 1x. Borrowed DVD.