Film Review: Lopsided ‘TRON: Legacy’ is Heavy on Visuals, Light on Humanity

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CHICAGO – Every great film is a delicate balance of a number of critical elements. Good films lack in one department while mediocre films have serious gaps that stick out like a red dress at a funeral. The overall mediocre “TRON: Legacy” is exceedingly fixated on its impressive visual effects while neglecting to focus on creating an evocative and humanized story. Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Despite its big-budget use of special effects, you aren’t emotionally connected to its characters or plot. Following the ahead-of-its-time 1982 film “Tron” with Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner, Bridges reprises his roles in 2010’s “TRON: Legacy” with the duality of both Kevin Flynn and Clu. Boxleitner also returns as both Alan Bradley and Tron.

Perhaps surprisingly for some, “TRON: Legacy” is less about the actual character that is Tron and is much more focused on Jeff Bridges’ characters along with his son, Sam Flynn (played by Garrett Hedlund). And this film actually has three different Jeff Bridges: one who’s in the real world (the brilliant but crazed inventor type) and two more who are trapped in “the grid” (one an antagonist and the other a protagonist). The grid, of course, has significant parallels to “The Matrix”.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “TRON: Legacy”.

That said, the “TRON: Legacy” performance by all three Jeff Bridges (a five-time Oscar nominee) pales in comparison to his recent standout work in the new Joel and Ethan Coen film “True Grit” and especially 2009’s “Crazy Heart”.

“Tron” and “TRON: Legacy” both share the same double-edged sword. While they’re visually arresting for their eras, they’re also unbalanced. On a 10-point meter comprised of visuals and story where ideally each would consume five points equally, both films tip the scale in the tech department with eight while only leaving two for humanity.

TRON: Legacy” stars Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, James Frain, Beau Garrett, Michael Sheen, Anis Cheurfa, Serinda Swan, Yaya DaCosta, Elizabeth Mathis, Kis Yurij, Conrad Coates, Ron Selmour and Daft Punk from director Joseph Kosinski and writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis. The film is rated “PG” for sequences of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language, has a running time of 127 minutes and opened everywhere on Dec. 17, 2010.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “TRON: Legacy” review.

Garrett Hedlund in TRON: Legacy
Garrett Hedlund in “TRON: Legacy”.
Image credit: Disney Enterprises

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “TRON: Legacy” review.

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