As we were sitting in one of the theaters at the AMC Valley View, waiting for Tron: Legacy, I leaned over to Jeff, placed my head on his shoulder, and told him that he should feel very special.
“Why’s that?” he asked.
“Because there’s like a hundred guys in this theater and you’re the only one here with a girl.”
And it was true! The theater was full of guys who all looked like Jesse Eisenberg but there were literally only three or four other girls in the audience and I think they were all together.
Now, one thing I’ve always wondered — why are guys so scared to sit next to each other in the movies? Seriously, there were all these little Jesse Eisenberg-looking guys out in the audience but each one had to have an empty seat on either side of him. Yet, it was obvious that they all knew each other because they were loudly shouting comments to each other through the entire film and, once the movie was over, they all left together. So, guys, sorry but it was a group date regardless of how many empty seats there were between you.
So, that’s one of two things I learned from seeing Tron: Legacy: boys who look like Jesse Eisenberg are homophobic.
What else did I learn? Well, whenever the hero of Tron: Legacy started fighting or talking about fighting or driving too fast, Jeff would go, “Let’s do this — LEROY JENKINS!” And I was like, “Who the frickin frack is Leroy Jenkins!?” Anyway, after the movie, Jeff showed me this video on Youtube. So, now I kinda know who Leroy Jenkins is.
Anyway, if I seem like I’m talking about everything but Tron: Legacy that’s because Tron: Legacy really didn’t make much of an impression on me.
Tron: Legacy is a sequel. The original film was called Tron and I’ve never seen it but I have seen the You Have 0 Friends episode of South Park and Jeff says that’s close enough.
Tron: Legacy is one of those movies that are mostly made to show off what can be done with CGI and the CGI is impressive in this film for about fifteen minutes. Then, after those 15 minutes, the CGI starts to get repetitive (I mean, there’s only so many times I can be impressed by the big orange space ships coming up over the horizon) and now you’re going to have to pay attention to things like plot and acting and that’s when everything pretty much falls apart.
Anyway, the plot of Tron: Legacy goes something like this: Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) is the son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who is apparently some sort of video game guru who vanishes when Sam is 7. 20 years later, Sam is an angry young man who rides a motorcycle and posts silly Youtube videos of his dog and somehow he ends up getting sucked into a really old computer where he discovers the Matrix.
And wow, is the Matrix boring. There’s like these gladiator style games going on and all the citizens are actually computer programs and they’re ruled over by CLU (also played by Jeff Bridges) and everyone keeps calling Sam a “user” and then there’s this club that’s ruled over by a Castor (Michael Sheen) who is portrayed as being extremely fey and treacherous which I guess is meant to show that even computer programs can be homophobic.
Anyway, Sam is tossed into one of the gladiator games and then he’s rescued by a program named Quorra (Olivia Wilde) and it turns out that Quorra lives offgrid with Sam’s father! It seems that Kevin has been trapped in this world for the past 20 years and now Sam only has a few hours left to get out and Kevin wants to make sure Quorra gets out as well and this is important because Quorra has some sort of digital DNA that’ll end all world suffering but CLU wants to kills Quorra because she’s “an imperfection” and…
Oh, who cares? Well, the filmmakers apparently because this is an amazingly talky film. For all the emphasis put on the CGI and the endless stream of action sequences (Sam gets into either a fight or a chase every 10 minutes or so), this is a really verbose film. Once Sam finds his father, all of the action suddenly halts as the audience is subjected to a seemingly endless monologue that is designed to explain how CLU was created, why CLU looks like a young, sexy Jeff Bridges, and how Quorra can synthesize religion and science and philosophy. The dialogue brings up all these intellectual and philosophical questions but why? It’s all very shallow, like listening to someone who just finished an Intro. To Philosophy class trying to explain the work of Jean-Paul Sartre. (“Hell is other people! Shit, man…”) I mean, the explanations make little to no sense yet they keep going on and on! It’s one thing to make a movie with a nonsensical plot. It’s another thing to not only continually call attention to that fact but do so in a way that is so humorless and so lacking in any self-awareness that the plot goes from being silly to stupid to borderline offensive.
Anyway, I know this review has been pretty negative so far so instead of dwelling on everything that didn’t work in this movie, I’m going to mention some good things about Tron: Legacy.
Let’s see — well, I think I may have a girlcrush on Olivia Wilde now. She kicks ass with style and bring a sly sense of humor to her role. Unfortunately, she has next to no chemistry with either Bridges or Hedlund.
As CLU, Jeff Bridges is made up to look young and sexy and is obviously being filmed through a lens that has been coated with vaseline.
It’s always nice to see one of my favorite actors, Michael Sheen. Even though his role here is kind of a waste of his talents, at least he’s not playing Tony Blair again.
Speaking of Michael Sheen, Tron: Legacy might not be a good film but it’s still more entertaining than Frost/Nixon.
Some of the CGI is cool in a “Hey! Look! CGI!” sorta way.
However, the best thing about Tron: Legacy is the original score by Daft Punk. Seriously, this might be the best film score of the year. The score is a mixture of electronic and orchestral music and it has a perfect sort of other worldliness to it. To a large extent, the music provides the emotional highs and lows that the rest of the film fails to supply.
My final verdict on Tron: Legacy: Skip the film, buy the soundtrack.