Monday, 20 December 2010

TRON: Legacy

Dir: Joseph Kosinski - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, Michael Sheen, James Frain, Beau Garrett
USA, 2010

Seen: December 18, 2010 at Scotiabank in the new "AVX" theatre, and in 3D, in seat E20.

Reason to see: Enjoyed the original, love films about games and can not resist a film that is predominantly blue (no, I'm not joking).

TRON: Legacy is one of the last films of the year I was highly anticipating, and it's been interesting to see the interest build for the film for so long and then for some reason in the last month it started to taper off. Not from me though, I was still as keen as keen could be. I have vaguely warm & fuzzy nostalgia memories of the first TRON (which after revisiting a few weeks ago, the vague & fuzzy was due to the fact it was way more based on ideas and concepts that I could likely 'get' back in 1982), I've been excited about the sequels for ages and tried in vain to avoid the previews. I was happy as could be to finally get to see it on the big screen in a theatre with great sound.

For the uninitiated, the original TRON followed Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a computer hacker who gets sucked into a computer world. The TRON: Legacy apple doesn't fall too far from the tree as it follows Flynn's son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) in a similar scenario, but with a different attitude, point-of-view and vibe. And that's what I loved about the film on so many levels. It doesn't try to be just like the original 'and more', or the original 'with explosions', but rather it's a natural extension of the original in terms of characters, worlds and visuals. Both films are based on ideas, meaning they are actually about something. Sure there are action sequences and spectacular effect, but at the heart of it we actually have interesting characters who make interesting choices in a world not of our own and all though that it's has really interesting concepts to explore as well. For me, that's great science fiction right there. Something to think about and people to care about to boot.

Now, it's not flawless. I would have dug it a lot more if the women characters had more depth to them and certain things about the computer world didn’t quite add up in terms of societal structure or logic. Plus, I would have loved for Bruce Boxleitner to be in it more. But, overall the enjoyment factor was very high. I thought the world was visually stunning, the production design was amazing - I love how they honoured the original films ideas and build on them and how it was very 3 dimensional from conception to execution. Very innovative work that was engaging and stunning. The sound and the score were through the roof, and it was worth it to see it in a fancy theatre that actually rumbled with the sound.

I think it was expected for it to be technically stunning and it is, but it also had a lot of heart to it as well. I really liked character of Sam and his journey in the film, Garrett Hedlund does a great job bringing the character to life. We also get great performances Jeff Bridges and the always fantastic Michael Sheen. I also love the title as it's got the feel completely right with the legacy aspect of the family and characters being an interesting, emotional pull in the film. Those were just some of the elements that pushed it beyond feeling like simply entertainment, as it created interesting dynamics, posed conceptual questions as well as presented ideas that I would have not have expected at all. Overall one of the most enjoyable of the holiday season and I can't wait to see it again.

Shannon's Overall View:

I really enjoyed it
I'll buy it
I'd recommend to fans of scifi, fantasy, gaming & adventure films

20+ minutes of preshow including 5 minute late start (!), 12 commercials (!), 5 previews (Season of the Witch, Green Lantern, Mars Needs Moms, Cars 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) and 3 tech/systems promos.

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010


Franco Macabro said...

I enjoyed it as well, didnt think it was all that original though because it similarities with The Matrix and The Dark Knight, plus the story was kind of like a retread of the original. In fact, it felt like a remake at times.

But I agree with you, visually it was stunning, and the sound...the music by DAFT PUNK...simply amazing, I hear it and I immediately think of robots and technology. Beautiful soundtrack thats worth getting.

Suzie Ridler said...

Wow, that is high praise and the kind of praise that makes me so excited to see it Shannon, thank you! I love that there is heart as well as thought behind it. I will prepare myself for the women not to have too much depth and you can never have enough Bruce Boxleitner.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

There were definitely some moments I wrote in my notes "Um... Matrix???", but I missed The Dark Knight-ness for which you are so right, Connoisseur! And the music was freaking awesome. I already have a special place in my heart for Daft Punk, but it's growing & growing now!

I really hope you enjoy it Suzie! I think it's actually a lot better than some people are giving it credit for (mind you lots of opinions were flying before anyone had *seen* it), and I really enjoyed it. The roles for women were disappointing, which is sad given how far we've come since the original - and this one I'd say they faired worse! It's more eye-rolling over offensive though, and I have to say they all have great makeup :)

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