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Due to an unfortunately timed head cold I put off seeing Tron Legacy until today. I avoided as many reviews as possible before seeing it but knew that they were mixed at best, which to be honest is what I usually expect for these kinds of movies. I personally felt that it lived up to my own expectations, but perhaps not to the all out marketing blitz hype that Disney has put behind it.
After watching the film I read through some of the negative reviews and what I find most interesting is that many of them totally contradict each other. One will give due credit to the visual eye candy and impressive 3-D, the next says the 3-D was ineffective and "nausea inducing". The latter person is clearly on crack because the 3-D was as flawless as I have ever seen and beautifully done. After a slew of bad examples of 3-D this was far and away the best execution since Avatar, which isn't totally surprising given that it was shot with the same cameras. I assure you that the art direction is fantastic and created a movie that is breathtaking to look at. The 3-D is not only sharply rendered and impressive, but also done in a way that doesn't leave you feeling awkwardly aware of the 3-D effect. The action sequences are exciting and pop off the screen in just the right way, with the Lightcycle sequence being my favorite.
Another point of disagreement is the plot. Some have bashed the movie for having no plot at all, others for having too simple of a plot that was spoon fed to the audience, and still others for having far too complicated of a plot making it impossible to follow. When I see this kind of discrepancy in reviews I have to feel that some reviewers simply prejudged the film and were bound and determined to invent reasons not to like it. I personally had no trouble whatsoever following or understanding the plot. Was it epic storytelling? No, of course not. Does it have to be? No, of course not. Now don't get me wrong, the story is a little uneven and could have been stronger. In particular it does bog down a bit in the middle when father and son are finally reunited and we get a deluge of explanation about how the grid came to be. Some of the dialogue is on the weak side but for me its fine for what it is and I felt that a complete story was told giving adequate, but not inspiring, motive for the actions of the characters.
Bridges turned in a quality performance as he always does. Unfortunately Garrett Hedlund in the pivotal role of Sam, who is nearly always on screen, is one of the weakest acting links. His performance is often wooden and expressionless. If there is a major flaw in the movie for me it is that he was woefully miscast and I think that a more dynamic actor could have brought a lot more to the role.
I have to add some kudos for Daft Punk's soundtrack. The techno duo have been getting a lot of buzz for their work here and after seeing the movie I have to say that they richly deserve the praise they are getting. Their pulsing beats perfectly set the mood for this electronic world and became one with the story in a way that is both rare and special. I wouldn't be surprised if they get an Oscar nod.
If you have ANY interest in seeing this movie even if its just to see the dazzling spectacle of the special effects you absolutely owe it to yourself to see it on a big screen in 3-D (and DLP digital if you have a choice so you get crystal clear high def quality).