zwrusk: chaos (Default)
Z.W. Rusk ([personal profile] zwrusk) wrote2010-12-17 04:00 am
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Legacy systems update

So, I just got back from Tron: Legacy midnight showing (in IMAX 3D, no less). Well, maybe not "just" back - there was a stop at Denny's and a quick grocery run.

So, here's the thing: I was never a big fan of Tron. I felt like it was honestly pretty boring; the best part was the games, and that lasted almost no time at all. I really only watched it because my social identity (geek) demanded it.

But the previews for Legacy looked interesting, and I'm always up for more Bruce Boxleitner (yes, I know Jeff Bridges is the main character). So okay, off we went.

When the lights came back up, I sat there in amazment: I liked it. I really liked it. I watched it like a hawk, waiting for it to disappoint me, and it failed to do so. I am not going to evangelize it; I will not inform you that you must, at all costs, go see this movie. I will not trumpet it to the heavens as the next best thing or demand it get Oscar recognition.

Disney always swings for the fences. It always wants the solid gold home run, out of the park, to the moon. It doesn't always succeed, but it has a decent batting average overall, and everyone has off days.

Tron: Legacy didn't clear the fences (I'd say the original Pirates of the Caribbean did that), but it is a solid home run in my book. It is a fun movie. Unlike PotC, the characters in the movie aren't having fun. It's a bit different that way. You're along for the ride with the creators, not the characters. But it is a fun ride and it is very well executed.

The pacing is good, the story is good, the acting is good, and the effects are wonderful. It would've been so very easy for this movie to fall into the trap that many big budget spectacles fall into: where the effects BECOME the movie. Here, the effects are very well-played, and they're used appropriately to help TELL the story, not BE it.

I am firmly in <3 with Quorra or, rather, the way her character is written and presented: she is a badass. She is not played as a sex symbol (though she is attractive), and she does not spontaneously become a helpless damsel in distress when the plot calls for it. She is captured once because she deliberately sets herself up to be, and she does not lie around helplessly and await the plucky young hero to come and rescue her. She is the most badass character OF the protagonists, and she never really lets you forget it.

For that matter, our plucky young hero does not spontaneously become a badass upon entering the grid. He's good at exactly what he was already good at in the real world, and the rest of his survival depends entirely upon Quorra, his dad, or just staying out of the way. His time in the games is survived through luck and simply running, ducking or dodging. He does eventually get to be something more of a fighter - after he's spent a bit of time there and seen how things work. And still, Quorra is better at it than he is. He knows some computer programming and hacking, but these skills cannot compare to his father's.

For that matter, Flynn, Sr. is really well done. There are bits of his old personality left - complete with 80's lingo - but he's ...well, he's matured and grown up, as you'd expect. And he hasn't forgotten that he is not just a User, but THE User here. He doesn't solve problems by kicking ass and taking names, he solves them with intelligence and his knowledge of how things work.

The references and in-jokes back to the first one are a nice touch, but if you have spared yourself from Tron the original, you can still enjoy Tron: Legacy. Any necessary backstory is explained succinctly (and, really, very little of it is necessary). In a lot of ways, Legacy is what I wanted Tron to be. I guess it - like both the Flynns - just had to grow up.


In other news, no, this blog isn't dead. Consider it "On Hiatus" until after the holidays though.