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Greetings. I am the Illusive One. For many years now I have been a huge video game player, movie viewer, and book reader. For almost as long, I have been a critic of these things and many people respect my opinions of these things and have often said I belong on G4 doing reviews on X-Play or a similar show. Sadly that is not likely to happen. So instead I shall do reviews for you, uninfluenced by other reviewers, of video games books, movies, and, occasionally, music and political actions. I hope you find this informative and helpful. Thank you for your time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tron: Legacy

           Well I'm back.  After nearly two weeks of being incognito, the Illusive One has returned!  And why was I gone for so long?  Well in case you forgot, I GOT INTO A FUCKING GUN FIGHT WITH KORSGAARD!  And that son of a bitch is no pushover!  He knows how to handle those things!  Luckily, I had prepared for this possibility due to the increasing hostilities between myself and Korsgaard.  I had various weapons caches stored throughout my compound and I was able to use these against him.  Unfortunately, I still ended up with two gunshot wounds, a broken rib, a few knife wounds in the gut, a concussion and a cracked skull to top it off. 
            Anticipating the fact that I might not win a straight up fight with him I did have a few tricks up my sleeve that would ensure I would live to fight another day.  First, I unloaded a mini-gun at him forcing to take cover while I released a group of Twihards into the area, knowing that Korsgaard would be drawn to them like a shark to chum.  As he tried to tear said Twihards limb by limb, I activated my compounds defenses that effectively drove him off will plenty of battle wounds of his own.  So for the past two weeks I've been recovering from the battle and am now making inquiries as to how he got in here in the first place.  And I will get answers....

           Oh yea! The review!  Let’s go with Tron: Legacy.  Last month I reviewed the original 1982 film Tron and stated that it had a great concept but was ultimately a flawed film.  The acting sucked, the dialog was bad, there were a bunch of little things that threw me off, the special effect were horribly outdated and was one of the few films I've seen that begged for a remake.  And instead, we got the sequel, Tron: Legacy.
            The film was released in December of 2010 and starred Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, and Michael Sheen.  This film centers on Sam Flynn, (Hedlund), son of Kevin Flynn, (Bridges), from the first film.  A few years go by after the first film and Flynn now has a son.  One night, however, Kevin Flynn disappears without a trace for over 20 years.  One day Alan Bradley, one of Flynn's oldest friends, gets a beeper page, (yes a beeper page), from Flynn's office at his old arcade from the first film with a number that has been disconnected for nearly 20 years.  Curious, Sam heads to the old arcade and finds his father's hidden office and accidently activates a laser that sucks him into the world of the Grid.  Within the Grid, he discovers that his father is indeed alive and has been trapped within for twenty years.  It turned out that a program called Clu, shaped in Kevin Flynn's image, betrayed him, apparently killing Tron and all of his allies and took over the Grid, trapping Flynn within.  Originally he had been created to help Flynn create the perfect the world within the Grid but now sees his task as complete and now plans to purge the Earth of all its “imperfections” and only Sam, Kevin and their few allies stand in his way.
            On the positive side, this film was so much better than the first.  The special effects were better, the action was better, the acting was better and the music, OH MY GOD THE MUSIC!  Unlike the first film, the Grid in this film actually looked like it was a digital world and the things I saw on screen actually seemed like they could exist given the situation.  The CGI effects, particularly the shattering bodies and forming of the light cycles, were well done and very cool to watch.  The action scenes and gladiator battles were also cool to watch and were a vast improvement over those of the first.  Then you have the craziest piece of CGI I have ever seen in a film.  During the prequel sequences and on the characters of Clu you had Jeff Bridges' young face on the bodies of the characters.  It literally took his younger face, made it into one of the most convincing pieces CGI I have ever seen and put it on someone else's body and it remained very convincing throughout the first half of the film.  
            Then you have the acting.  As I mentioned in my previous review, I felt that Jeff Bridges' character adapted to the world of the Grid just a little too quickly.  Sam also adapted fairly fast but not nearly as fast and they actually took the time to explain why he was so good at what he did and I felt this was a big improvement over the last film.  Jeff Bridges' acting in this film was far better than his acting in first and he played the roles of both Kevin and Clu very well.  I also felt that Clu was a very good villain.  He was a good guy who went bad and does what he does for, (somewhat), good goals but ends up doing all the wrong things in order to achieve them and I like villains like that.  They almost make you want to see them turn back good and it makes their demise slightly depressing.  Finally you had Michael Sheen as Zuse the flamboyant club owner and this guy a trip.  Delightfully over the top, funny, and unpredictable, I only regret that he wasn't in more of this film.
            The last positive thing to mention about this film is the music.  And it was just perfect for this movie.  All the music was done by Draft Punk and it blended perfectly with the environment.  It built the mood, got you in the right state of mind for what was to come, matched perfectly with what was on screen, and they couldn't have got any one better for the job.  As I was listening to it, I couldn't help but think these were the people they should have got to do the music for Mass Effect 2 but that for another day.  All around the music was just perfect for this film.
            Despite all the good things I had to say about this film, there were also quite a lot of things wrong with it as there were with the first.  Most of my praises come from comparing it to the first film but a lot of the things I praised had their faults.  For starters, the world of the Grid was just too dark.  I know that there isn't a sun and that it was suppose to be dark but come on!  Just because it's a world within a computer doesn’t mean it has to be 90% shadow!  What also bugged me about the Grid, (no pun intended), was just how limited it was.  When I saw the first film I always pictured it as being an early form of the internet and that was something they could really have expanded on in this film.  Instead they limited the Grid to being contained on a single consul and that disappointed me more than anything else.   
            Then you had Jeff Bridges' CGI face and throughout the first half of the film it really looked real.  The further you get into the film, however, the less real it seems.  One scene in particular has Clu sitting down and it looked like his head had been photo-shopped on the body.  In the final acts of the film, it became really obvious that his face was CGI and at one point it even seemed like his face was lagging when he turned it.  I mean what the hell?  Did they just get lazy at the end or something?      
            I praised the action for this film, but only in comparison to the first.  Not that there wasn't enough of it but the fighting was poorly choreographed, the camera angles didn't help it, and just seemed like a mess and not in a good way.  In the end the action is just tame, especially when compared to all the other action scenes out there.  And why were they using their Identity Disks as weapons?  That just didn't make any sense to me.
            Then you have the acting.  While Jeff Bridges' acting skills vastly improved, he said a lot of slang that was horribly outdated.  I know he's been trapped in the Grid for twenty years, but I never recalled him ever using that kind of slang in the first film and it annoyed the crap out of me.  Then you had Garret Hedlund's and Olivia Wilde's acting.  While it's not terrible it's not really good either and it didn't seem like they put much effort into their parts.  It was passable but still not that great.
            The last two things to mention have to do with the plot.  I won't spoil it for you, but there was one twist towards the end of the film that I saw coming a mile away.  It was just way to predictable and not very well built up.  Finally you have the ending.  While it wasn't as disappointing as the ending of the first film, it was still a bit of a downer and kind of left you hanging. 

            All around, it was a vast improvement over the original film but that's where most of my praise for this film ends.  With all the other films that have come out in recent years, this one just kind of blends in with the crowd, especially when 2010 was full of sequels and remakes from the 80s.  I'd absolutely recommend giving it a watch and can guarantee you'll be entertained but not necessarily blown away.  It's one of those films that I can't decide if I loved it or just thought it was ok.  Everything that was good about it had some kind of flaw that I just couldn't overlook. And that's the biggest flaw.  It just struck me as being an imperfect film when it could have been perfect.

All Around


  1. Why so harsh? It at least deserves an 8.5 I would think.

  2. Because when you compare it to all the other stuff thats out their it just kind of blends in. Evreything, (except for the music) that was good about it had major flaws that i couldn't look past.