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January 2, 2011 / Prof Cupcake.

dear tron: your legacy is failure.

Given its ludicrous high budget (300 million plus) and its amazing graphics it’s really a testament to the banality of the direction and the writing, that TRON: legacy manages to be so emphatically awful.

 

Just a word of advice Disney, maybe you should hire a guy whose made a film before you turn over funds in excess of the GDP of Tonga, to a man whose going to spend untold amounts hiring actual car designer Daniel Simon (who has worked for Volkswagen and Bugatti) to design ‘light cycles’ in stead of getting a crack team of writers involved to, I don’t know, maybe write a good film.

 

The problem with adapting TRON was always going to be that it came from such rubbish source material. The original Tron was simply awful but thanks to its almost humorously bad costumes and crappy dialogue it quickly became a cult classic. This film began from the mistaken position of thinking that any of us actually enjoyed the original for more then its heavy cheese factor. Rather then remake the world of the grid and create an entirely new universe, Kosinski and colleagues decided to utilize the original and heavily flawed framework for their behemoth budget sequel. (I mean come on the disks never made that much sense in the first place, nor we’re they that fun looking to use, and why would you hurl you fragile identity around like a Frisbee stroke boomerang is simply beyond me.) Yet this is not a place to explore all the possible plot lines that would have made TRON better. Lets just focus on what this film does explore.

 

Thanks to the fact that the Grid’s creator, Kevin Flynn is viewed as a god by his program’s which he ‘makes in his own likeness’ etcetera its impossible not to view this film as anything short of a commentary on the nature of divinity and the origin of life.  Yet it’s attempted exploration of religious themes is so heavy handed and awkward it becomes rather distracting rather then providing a very interesting skeletal structure on which to build the meat of the film. The film feels like it wants to begin a discourse onto the concept of virtual, photorealistic creation, but unlike other action-adventure reality films, such as the Matrix or even eXistenz, Tron appears to have operated under the fear that any bit of not base conceptualization would ruin the movie. Ultimately it becomes a great disappointment as the large amount of orange and red eye candy is unable to save the film from its vacuous destiny.

 

There are numerous other odd pits. For instance a scene when Quorra refers to herself accidently as a dog, making her both sub-human and a pet. As well as a scene when Clue says loudly that he is off to make a Toast and disappoints everyone by giving a dull speech rather than hanging out with some good old bread and butter.

 

Tron was never going to be the film of the year. With out the suave direction of an accomplished artist such as Christopher Nolan who managed to take Batman,  and turn it into an intense character study, or George Lucas who brought an entire other world in the star wars films to life the film was slated to fail from the start. The decision to cast Garreth Hedlund, who though pretty swaggers rather then acts through this film, did not help much either, but ultimately the failing is due to the poor writing.

 

The film expects to much of the viewers and the characters and relies to heavily on the belief that the graphics and video game feel of the piece would keep audiences entertained. That said there is a disappointing dearth of entertaining graphics and eye popping fighting sequences.

 

 

Dear Tron: your legacy is failure.

 

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