image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Movie Review – TRON: Legacy (2010) – **

I always want to rate Tron: Legacy better than I feel it deserves. When I’m watching it, I’m overwhelmingly bored. The conversations drag on for so long. The dialogue is too uninspired to justify this. The worldbuilding is intriguing, but shallow.

Yet characters-inside-computers is among my favorite things ever (see also: Reboot and The Animatrix). The aesthetic is excellent—I want to live somewhere that looks like this. The costumes are so cool. Whenever I think about T:L, those are the things I think about. The lengthy slow conversation scenes simply don’t stick in my mind. So I kinda love it when I’m not watching it and melt into the floor out of boredom when I do.

This also is one of my favorite movie scores of all time. Truly, Daft Punk did 90% of the heavy lifting here. This movie could have been vastly worse and the score would have made it watchable. It’s almost not worth remarking on the movie attached to the score. The work might be Daft Punk’s magnum opus, whereas the movie is incredibly middling work.

I could even forgive the horrid de-aging CGI if they just did more fighting. Please! Let the stunt people cook! More light bikes!

Part of what frustrates me about T:L is that other things are *so* good too. Michael Sheen as Zuse is an absolute gas. I want to be a queer-coded villain dancing to Daft Punk while the betrayed heroes get their arms chopped off. The action scenes are a delirious delight, and if they’d just had 50% more action and 50% less talking, it would probably be a 5* movie.

Yet being very close to greatness still managed to land Tron: Legacy squarely into a very boring place.

It is interesting to note that I used to think of this as a bad movie. I no longer do. Mostly because recent Disney movies have reset the bar on being bad and boring on a whole new level: cynical, nonsensical, and often feeling cheap despite bloated budgets. I mean, I hadn’t seen all the live action Renaissance Disney remakes yet. But this feels genuinely heartfelt. They were tackling a difficult project with real gusto, and it just didn’t turn out. The CGI looks aged but not cheap. (Even the bad de-aging CGI looks expensive.)

Somehow this movie is a two-star “love.” It’s bad. I want to skip most of it. I’m obsessed with it. I could make this my entire life.

(image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Leave a Reply