Sunday, 5 December 2010

Tron:Legacy

Tron:Legacy is the sequel to the 1982 movie, Tron. It stars Jeff Bridges, reprising his roll as Kevin Flynn from the original, but also plays Clu 2.0, Flynn's avatar. It also stars Garrett Hedlund as his son, Sam Flynn, Olivia Wilde from TV's House, and Michael Sheen playing a fictional character for a change.

20 years after his father's disappearance, Sam Flynn finds himself in the trapped in the computerised world that his father created.

Tron:Legacy was the 2nd mystery film organised by SeeFilmFirst as part of their Online Bloggers event, held at The Empire Cinema in Leicester Square. Standing outside the cinema that Saturday morning, it became obvious to anyone who had not already guessed that Tron:Legacy would be one of the films as the cinema was already covered with giant marquees in preparation for it's world premiere the following day.

The day itself consisted of 2 Q&A sessions, one on setting up a film website of your own (Creating an online audience), and the other on piracy. I managed to ask what I thought was the best question of the day during the online audience Q&A, "Considering that 2 recent films which had attracted a huge online following, Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim, both under performed at the box office, how much does the online audience represent the real world audience". As the event was filmed, you may see their response online soon. If I find it, I will post it.

The director of Tron:Legacy was there to introduce the film, which was cool. Presumably he'd flown over for the main premier the following evening. As for the film itself, I'm not sure if I was disappointed with Tron:Legacy, or whether it just failed to exceed my limited expectations. As my earlier post concluded, I wasn't a fan of the original, so was hoping that the sequel would be better. In some ways it was. The special Effects were amazing, but in this digital age, nothing we haven't seen before in multiple computer games. Avatar had entirely computer generated landscapes and neon effects. Beowulf had photo real CGI characters, whilst Benjamin Button and X-Men 3 had de-aged characters, yet all managed to do them better.

Let's talk about the de-aged Jeff Bridges. When he first appears, he's wearing a helmet so you can't see his face. The sole reason for this ridiculous helmet seems purely so that he can take it off and reveal himself to be a young Jeff Bridges, shocking the audience into wowing at a special effect that they've already seen in the trailer and at the start of the film. At first, the de-aged Jeff Bridges is amazing, that is until he starts to move. Once he does, he looks like a computerised Jeff Bridges that they've recreated for a computer game. If you've seen the trailer, you will already know what to expect. There is something about how his mouth moves that doesn't look real, and it moves a lot. Even when he isn't talking, his mouth moves is some strange way as if to emphasize that they know how to create CGI mouths, which they don't. He also suffers from that scary dead eye look that blighted The Polar Express. However, that fault had been fixed in both Beowulf and A Christmas Carol and they are both a year or 2 old, so why did they fail to fix it in this? It's taken them 3 years to make this film, but it seems that they have spent so much time patting themselves on the back at being able to create a young Jeff Bridges, no one bothered to point out to them that it looked crap. You could use the excuse that the young Jeff Bridges actually plays Clu 2.0, which is the old Kevin Flynn's avatar, therefore has a reason to look like a computer effect. However, in some flashback scenes, Clu 2.0 interacts with the young Flynn, and they both look like bad CGI effects.

During these flashback scenes, we see the Tron character, played by a de-aged Bruce Boxleitner but he also looks like a bad computer effect. Later in the film (Spoiler alert) the original Tron character appears, but he is wearing a helmet. This has the effect of making you fail to associate the character with the one from the first film, but also makes you think they were saving money on special effects. Seeing as Bruce Boxleitner appears in the film, and has been de-aged to play Tron in the flashback scenes, surely they could have had him take his helmet off once. Also, seeing as he is wearing a helmet throughout, how did Jeff Bridges know that it was Tron?

The older Jeff Bridges character is strange too. He doesn't seem like the same character from the first film. Less care-free and rebellious, but that is understandable as the character has gone through a lot in the last 20 years. To show that it is the same character, they have him occasionally spout clich├ęd hippie phrases such as "Far out man," to remind you that he is the same person. This is strange as the Flynn character from the first film never seemed to be much of a hippie at all and never said anything like that.

Olivia Wilde is great in the film, but she is great in everything she is in. In real life, she is married to an Italian Prince, meaning she is in reality a princess. She's been turning up in a lot of films lately when she isn't filming House. She also had a small role in , turning the day into a bit of an Olivia Wilde double bill. She is slowly turning into a huge star and will also soon be seen in John Favreau's new film. Talking of which, and forgive the digression, at the start of the day, we were shown a load of film trailers. The last one was for the new John Favreau film that Olivia Wilde is in. Great trailer. Daniel Craig is a cowboy in the wild west, where he is taken prisoner by Harrison Ford. So far, a great looking western with a great cast. Then aliens attack. The audience were already excited by this. Then the name of the film appears. "Cowboys And Aliens." The audience applauded. Seriously, who doesn't want to see James Bond and Indiana Jones in a film called Cowboys And Aliens. Anyone?

Anyway, back to Tron. The storyline was OK and less confusing that the original, but I still didn't understand bits of it and even now couldn't explain what actually happened, hence the brief synopsis earlier. What was Quorra the last of? How, in a digital world, did Flynn manage to get hold of a whole roast pig for their dinner, and why did they then only eat the vegetables? Did Flynn deliberately design the interior of his house after seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey? If anyone has the answers to these questions, please post them below.

As for the 3D, I was expecting it to be the next revolution in the technology as they made a big thing about having to set up the 4 digital projectors during our lunch break. Seeing the Tronised Walt Disney logo at the beginning, it looked like it might very well do so. The film itself starts in 2D and doesn't turn 3D until they enter the digital world, and there is a warning at the start of the film so you know to expect this. Maybe it's because I wasn't right at the back, or maybe because I had 2 heads partially obscuring the bottom of the screen, but when the 3D did arrive, it was hardly noticeable. I think I would have enjoyed the 2D version just as much, maybe even better as it probably wouldn't have given me a headache. Another question I have is why do cinemas always put the screen so low, so there are always heads obscuring it. I was aching my next as I couldn't relax in my seat as I kept straining to see over the heads in front. They were only in my way and they had to stretch to see over the heads in front of them. I felt sorry for the people behind me.

All in all, a big disappointment. Not completely awful as the film is quite fun, but not too great. I can't compare it to the current IMDB score as no-one else has seen it yet, but I'd give it a 6.6, better than the first one, but still not too great.

When you do see the film, let me know what you think in the comments. Do you agree or disagree? I want to know.

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