Comfortable and Furious

Tron: Legacy (2010)

So how was Tron: Cash In ?

I hate to admit that I had some moderate expectations to this one considering the look of the trailer and the appearance of a project taken seriously. That fell off fairly quickly when the film dragged at the beginning, and tailed off as the computer world was entered for the first time with all the vigor and pace of a mausoleum being pulled to pieces by moss. Clearly, the visual design is great, and the score by Daft Punk was on target. That is the end of the good news. The rest was just waiting… patiently… for the film to just kill itself already.

Does the Dude abide?

Bridges brings his full Dude into play as Kevin Flynn from the 1982 Tron, trapped in his computer program by his alter ego Clu, who was created to make a perfect cyber world. Well, he goes rogue and murders a whole race of isomorphic programs that already were perfect – and I just lost interest already. The film is like 60 minutes of infodump like they are preparing for a sequel that they already know nobody gives a shit about. Well, Kevin Flynn’s son gets trapped in this world as well, because what is an obscenely expensive CGI film without a bland leading man?

Genocide is a bit heavy for a fluff feature like this.

Well, all of these computer programs are killed off as if this is a terrible thing – except for the Last One played by Olivia Wilde. I guess the programs need to breed or something rather than being recreated from a hard drive. It’s like the director cannot decide whether these are humans or programs, and the tone of the film is a mess as a result. So the Last One is killed, and then brought back to life, then she surrenders to Clu for no particular reason and is somehow converted to an evil program except not really, and rejoins the action in a way that makes very little sense. So is it supposed to mean something if an identity is lost? Speaking of which, those disks are intended to be one’s memory and identity, and that shit gets tossed around in a way too cavalier to make sense.

Is there a sort of religious undercurrent here?

Overcurrent, if that is a word. The Dude is the Creator and has godlike powers that he refuses to use for like 20 years plus the entire film’s running time until he finally destroys the whole program world in the end without any ark nonsense. Apparently his inertia was a sign of patience until… something happens. The Dude espouses a whole philosopy of creating computer programs to better shape the human race in an ill-defined way so as to cease all disease, aging, war, hate. The lovefest is described by him as “Biometric jazz, man.”


It is the most inane bullshit imaginable, and you just sit there in stunned disbelief as a $200 million film is placed on hold for dialogue that would more likely be spewed from the guy who hangs out at the bus depot. Anyway, his whole zen thing just serves to annoy as Clu builds his massive program empire using destructive games and Killing Servants Who Fail, all in preparation for the invasion of the real world. Why? Why does any of this matter? This is never explained as there is never any reason for being for any of this crap. Flynn supposedly created a world to, like, do all kinds of stuff and things which must have been GOOD because he is the Dude. Then Clu takes over and continues creating stuff and killing things that were never alive and fabricating a planet which is EVIL because of the color scheme. He seems to have no interests other than games, which are not explained even to appeal to the masses. If there are masses, which is never made clear.

Daft Punk?


What is Michael Sheen doing in this?

Apparently protesting the job opportunity. I have never hated someone this much since William Hurt stamped his ‘cartoon asshole’ on A History of Violence. Playing a mincing club twit with a lisp that would make Graham Norton cringe, he figures minimally in the shapeless plot and betrays Flynn in a way that surprises nobody. He cackles, vamps, flits about, does a timely and relevant Chaplin impression with his cane, and there is no way he got paid for this. That check had to have been stopped the day before filming. It was at this point that Tron went from a boring Matrix Reloaded ripoff to an outright disaster.

What about the light cycles? Cool, right?

Eh, no better or worse than the original, except rendered visually senseless because you see virtually nothing coming. Just whip around, here, there, crash, what was that? No idea. There are Recognizers that do nothing, an aerial  battle that clearly is there for killing time, and some jump around ninja shit that resembles those embarrasing Capoeira Club cunts on the University campus lawn. Action scenes are mostly jumbled – the solar sail which Flynn is using to get to a portal crashes into an enemy cruiser, and nobody notices. The fucking thing is parked inside the cruiser, and nobody seems to know the good guys are in there too.  If the director cannot bother to give a shit, I am not going to do his job for him by bending over backwards for an explanation. Which for Tron would require autorimming.

So what else went wrong?

Tron is meant to evoke an anarchist sentiment with the message that companies should release software for free rather than rake in profits for intentionally weak products. There is talk of a revolution in this computer world (and by extension our consumer realm), and the main character (Sam Flynn) is intended to be a rebel. But he ends up taking control of that same conglomeration, and it is doubtful he will serve his stockholders by distributing Che Guevara shirts. This supposedly punk film is pure corporate product and feels as phony as a McDonald’s ebonics-laden television spot. The father-son dynamic between The Dude and The Douche gives plenty of time for a Spielberg-esque exploration of daddy issues that are the lazy go-to for whenever pathos is needed in an empty commercial vehicle. Kevin Flynn pulls an Old Testament God and destroys everything, which is okay as long as a good guy is doing it. The final escape from this neon shithole leads to Tron’s most inexplicable scene where young Flynn rides his bike along a highway to enjoy nature, fresh air, and the sun, three things that are anathema to the computer geeks to whom this film was made to appeal.

So how was the 3D?

Fuck 3D.