Once upon a time, Disney made a film that wasn’t about an innocent baby deer’s mother being maimed, or a beauty who had some sort of Stockholm syndrome-influenced relationship with her beastly kidnapper, or a girl who had very odd relations with no less than seven little men at the same time. In an unusual departure from their standard horror, they made Tron. I have not watched Tron, as I have a deep-seeded hatred of 80s sci-fi films caused by having once watched Star Wars. Being a curious chap though, I thought I would give the sequel a go.
As movie-goers, we live in a time of sequels, prequels, reboots and remakes. The inherent problems with this are outside the scope of this article, so I’ll let it slide. To be fair to Tron: Legacy, enough time has passed that it could not be accused of being a money-grabbing follow-up that was churned out as quickly as possible after the success of the original. With that said, given how much time has passed and how long the film was in development for, we could be forgiven for expecting that it might actually be good. Sadly, it isn’t.
The main problem with it is the plot, which is a mess. I make certain allowances for sci-fi, and for Disney, and for video-game inspired films, but even I have my limits. As far as I could discern, it is based around Jeff Bridges’ character’s attempts to go home. Sort of like ET, if ET had been a slightly less cool Dude. There are a number of sub-plots which are as distracting as they are confusing. Jeff’s son is a sort of reluctant heir to his father’s empire (I’ve never seen that before!) and his love interest is more important than she seems (I’ve never seen that before!). I know it’s petty to pick holes in movies like this, but this is filled with enormous, gaping canyons.
Legacy is an assault on the senses. This is not a metaphor; I felt like I had been physically attacked after watching it. There are essentially three colours in the film – red, blue and seemingly endless permutations of grey. I am at a loss as to why some reviewers have described it as a visual treat. Perhaps they mean that it’s sort of like that horrible nutty thing that’s always left over at the end of a box of Quality Street at Christmas. Technically speaking, it is a treat, but your Dad is probably the only one who will enjoy it.
It’s not all bad. Jeff Bridges is as dependable as ever, and the rest of the cast handle the ludicrous script quite well. Michael Sheen, in particular, is very entertaining as the club owner, and it’s a pity he doesn’t appear for longer. Daft Punk’s score is also excellent. Ultimately though, the film tries too hard to live up to fan’s expectations, and Tron’s legacy is a disappointing one.