Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tron Legacy

It's becoming clearer and clearer to me that remakes are a really difficult thing to tackle in the film industry. Not only can the director be blamed for not being original enough in his/her interpretation, but he can also be criticised for not sticking to the core of the story that made it's predecessor what it is. Luckily, with no prior knowledge of this film to my disposal, I could safely watch it with no predetermined expectations.

This however seems to be part of the movie's biggest problem: Without a love and appreciation for the movie's roots, it's seems to be nothing more than another exploitation of the recent revival of the 3D cinema gimmick. The 3D effects, (which viewers are even reminded of to expect) are very average, to say the least. It would have been nice to see one of those shiny weapons pass in front of my face, but this never happened.

Nevertheless, Tron Legacy is extremely 'fun' to look at, with its shiny lights, but even this (it's biggest sell) becomes redundant as viewers are confronted with the same basic colour palette of red and white lights for the majority of the film. I'm sure this was necessary to stay true to the original, as it helps to create an intentional sense of 'roboticness' and perfection, but sadly also imbues the movie with a heavy sense of dullness. Even the flashy fight scenes start to dull out at some point, as the action sequences seem more 'Power ranger' than 'Matrix'.

And this is a serious problem, seeing how the movie spends most of it's time painting a picture of the world of the 'Grid' – the digital world where most of the movie plays off in. And this is where the seemingly unknown director, Joseph Kosinski really does a great job! The world of the Grid is well imagined, making it almost believable that such a world could really exist. Kosinski also does a commendable job in explaining the film's quite complicated back story, making it easier for one to immerse oneself in the digital happenings.

"Even the flashy fight scenes start to dull out at some point, as the action sequences seem more 'Power ranger' than 'Matrix'."

The rest of the film's elements however feel heavily neglected, as all the characters appear painfully two-dimensional, with Jeff Bridges and Michael Sheen as the only cast members that contribute to the film's sense of depth. Part of the problem is the very average dialogue that definitely hampers most of the cast, especially lead protagonist, Garret Hedlund (Eragon, Friday Night Lights,Troy) and the sexual interest, Olivia Wilde (Alpha Dog, Year One).

A fitting old-school soundtrack works well, but it's not nearly good enough to save the film.

To sum up, Tron Legacy really feels as if it is lacking a sense of spirit – A few more jokes (there are two in the movie and both are horrible) would have been a small touch that could have helped considerably, for example.

I'm sure many fans of the original will interpret the movie very differently, but the rest of us won't leave the cinema equally dazzled – Kosinki's 'style over substance' approach has not payed off.

Shiny... but that's about it.
Rating: 2 and-a-half Meerkat Tails