Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Tron Legacy

Over the last 28 years, many people have thought: "Tron had some good special effects didn't it? If that was made today, it'd be amazing!" Then, sensibly, they left the conversation there and carried on with their lives. Disney, however, decided it was a good idea, so spunked out over $200 million making Tron Legacy, with the help of two TV writers and a TV commercials director, none of whom had any feature film experience at all.

Surprisingly, it turned out to be an unmitigated, unqualified, undiluted, unadulterated, unreserved, unequivocal shitsplosion of the highest and most menacing order.
It might just be me, but when the central conceit of a film is something like having to take for granted the unexplained anthropomorphism of computer programs, then I've already stopped caring. Inexplicably, these 'programs' feel fear, anger, love, ambition and greed. They eat, drink, give motivational speeches, cheer at motivational speeches, go to parties and listen to Daft Punk. Really.

The computer world itself is also infuriatingly baffling. Why is there gravity? Why are there clouds? Why is there a sea? Why is it raining? Just what in the name of Sir Clive Sinclair is going on?

And then there's "the plot". Why has Old Jeff Bridges' son been beamed into PC world? Why is Old Jeff Bridges stuck in there? Why is Young Jeff Bridges trying to get out? What does he hope to achieve when he plops out into the real world only to find he's made of ones and zeroes? Hello, here's a lengthy exposition scene to answer all our questions: What's that, Old Jeff Bridges? Something about isomorphic algorithms? Right. A fat lot of help you are.
the big letronski
Eventually it all boils down to a race against time, which sounds far more exciting than it is, and an ending brought about by a hitherto unknown plot device that could have been effected not just much earlier in the story, but in fact before the story even began, which would have saved us all a lot of time, money and misery.

It doesn't help that Garrett Hedlund, playing the notional hero, is possibly the dullest actor on Earth. He's not bad, he's just boring. His dialogue consists either of clunking one-liners or crap descriptions of the sun: "Warm... radiant... beautiful." Yes, very good. You forgot "big", "round" and "yellow".

And then, in an attempt to liven up proceedings, Michael Sheen turns up and blows the film apart. Not in a good way, but in a cane-waving, bastard son of Aladdin Sane and Ruby Rhod, stupidly pointless way.
All of which wouldn't be so bad if the film was actually fun, but it's not. It's a confused, tedious cackspasm with no redeeming features whatsoever; an eye-wateringly expensive excuse to update Tron's light cycle scene padded out with two hours of monotonous cabbage that doesn't even look good in 3D.

So congratulations Disney! Your $200,000,000 has bought you probably the worst film of the year. And I've seen Devil.


  1. If you don't think about anything and just look at all the blue stuff, you'll enjoy it. Nerds (like me) will like the VFX but if you're after plot and ACTUAL CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT then it's a snooze fest.

    I'm just suprised Old Jeff Bridges didn't make himself a White Russian at some point.

    Like the music though, listened to the OST on the way to work and it made my usual shiteous journey on the Northern/Victoria/Jubilee seem momentous. Well, in a biodigital jazz kind of way...

  2. I reckon I had much more fun reading this review than I will watching the film. I didn't even like the first one. I laughed lots at "big, round and yellow" and "trong". Good stuff.

  3. 'Tron' like 'Max Headroom' was a film of a particular time. Computer nerds read books like 'Peek, Poke, Byte and RAM' and addressed 8-bit processors in assembly language. The TRON style was dictated by the limited technology and should have been left alone in peace.

    If it had to be revived I'd rip all the costumes and call in TORN, or introduce a lot of cybersex and call it PORN.

  4. This review could have just been the words "all work and no play makes the incredible suit a dull boy" over and over again, and it would still be the best review ever as long as you kept the Lebowski gif.

  5. Mr Suit this is your best review ever (out of the ones that I have read that is), I laughed a lot :D

  6. Shitsplosion and cackspasm do not do this film justice. Shitspasm is more like it. It offended my eyeballs more than any other film I've ever seen, ever (apart from Event Horizon)!

  7. What! Do I hear someone dissing Event Horizon? Get thee hence Quorra! ;D

  8. Sorry but despite Quorra being a fictional character in the year's worst film she is bang on about Event Bore-izon.