Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

December 17, 2010

Bright lights, big pity

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 11:37 pm

December 17, 2010

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen

Director: Joseph Kosinski

The original Tron that released in 1982 was a path-breaking, visually stunning film that has acquired cult status over the years, and a legacy of fans who have waited patiently for a sequel that would take them back into Kevin Flynn’s digital universe. The computer effects in that film were remarkable for their time, but appear dated now. And it doesn’t help that they were used to tell a rather clunky story to begin with.

Tron: Legacy, that much anticipated sequel, is an eye-popping marvel of computer effects. But 30 years from now, there’s a good chance it’ll look just as dated as the earlier film. Because they still couldn’t fix the plot!

The new film opens with 27-year-old Sam Flynn (played by Garrett Hedlund) going in search of his father, computer genius Kevin Flynn (played by Jeff Bridges), who has been missing for many years. Turns out Papa Flynn is trapped in the Grid, that artificial world he designed. When Sam finds his way into the Grid, Flynns Sr & Jr must work together to take down Clu, Kevin’s digital duplicate who’s gone rogue and has taken over the virtual universe.

The premise itself is over-simplistic and the characters uniformly one-dimensional; yet the film’s dialogue is convoluted and incomprehensible, and packs so much jargon about the digital landscape that there are times you wish you were equipped with a guide-book while watching this film.

What keeps you glued to your seat, expectedly, is the film’s extraordinary visual design. Many familiar elements from the earlier film – those light cycles, glowing Frisbees and solar sails – return in sleeker, more stylish upgrades; and the action scenes are jaw-dropping. A light-cycle chase in the first half is one of the film’s fanciest highlights, as is a futuristic fight sequence in a floating virtual arena.

But Tron Legacy‘s biggest success is its use of 3D. The only film since last year’s Avatar to use the extra dimension with the objective of providing a wholesome, immersive experience, Legacy scores over the dozens of 3D rush-jobs like Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender that exploited the technology only for its gimmick value.

I’m going with a generous three out of five for Tron: Legacy. It’s a light-and-sound show like nothing seen before, but if it were much shorter, it might have worked better as a music video!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. just bac from the theatre. movie is an absolute waste of time. story simply wasn’t there. expected a hell lot of action. first half didn’t disappoint on that part but the second part was a drab. 3 out of 5 is very generous considering your usual lofty standards Mr Masand.

    Comment by Avishek — December 18, 2010 @ 1:20 am

  2. Watch the movie only for the effects,,,Personally being a huge tron fan,,,,I want to sue the director for successfully destroying the franchise….the 1982 version was far more entertaining though outdated….

    Comment by Rahul — December 18, 2010 @ 1:27 am

  3. i beg to defer Rajeev the first part used much more technical jargon than the Legacy.Considering the movie had always been futuristic,the characters were usually one dimensional since the first part.Yes its more of an light and sound show but it is a different movie altogether where you can’t possibly fit this in any Genre present.I think Tron movies always supported open source software for which i respect them.

    Comment by Leela — December 18, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

  4. Really Mr masand, 3 out of 5, the movie is crap I couldn’t keep my eyes open for the second part. Does is it really deserve 3 stars or you just want to sound cool and Hip by showing off that you are original tron legacy fan when in reality you might have watched the original recently after the TRON Legacy trailer came out.

    Comment by Dhaval — December 19, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

  5. I loved the movie., sitting there i was asking for more in it. exceptional graphics and visual effects. with over the top environment. it really takes u into the inside of a computer. To be frank. Spellbounding

    Comment by Manu — December 20, 2010 @ 6:29 am

  6. Movie 6/10 but
    3d effects 8.5/10

    Comment by priyabrata — December 20, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

  7. mr.Dhaval which part of rajeev’s “I’m going with a generous three out of five” didn’t you get? read before you comment.

    Comment by Leela — December 21, 2010 @ 7:27 am

  8. Its a good movie but not like its predecessor.

    The Script of the first part is truly good.

    But the Visuals and Graphics in the 2nd part is truly Amazing.

    Comment by Abhishek Ghosh — December 25, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

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