Impressions: Tron Night – intriguing if a little underwhelming

It’s been a while since I last saw Tron fully; I catch glimpses of it when it’s on the TV (I think it was on a couple of weeks ago) but never the whole film. I remember when I was younger and watched Tron every time it came on TV, I can’t remember why, maybe it was the weird visuals or the fact that these characters inhabited a world inside a computer (it was probably the synthesised score that drew me back) but Tron was a film I could watch again and again. That being said I felt no particular excitement for the sequel Tron Legacy probably because my interest in all things Tron had waned. I liked Tron a lot but that was a while ago, it doesn’t carry the same significance for me than it had when I was much, much younger.

So coming to Tron night when I managed to get tickets to see it with a friend I can think I can write that I was mildly interested in what the director Joseph Kosinski was going to do. I can now bump that up from mildly interested to intrigued. The twenty-three minutes of footage wasn’t revelatory (nor should it have been for what amounted to a sneak preview), the footage served to stoke interest in the film and listening to the people coming out of the auditorium it did do at least that although some of it was a little negative. All the footage came from the first half of the film with scenes set before Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) gets transported into the computer and scenes afterwards. In fact the scenes can be glimpsed in the trailer so they’re not all too revealing but what the footage does reveal is some of the tone, action, plotlines and visuals that the film offers. Visually it looks absolutely gorgeous despite being mainly black with grey, white, blue and orange making up the palette; it really is a striking image that Kosinski has implemented. If anything the film looks like it’ll be visually stunning. Going over the footage in my head it definitely makes me think of the original Tron and Wizard of Oz in terms of a character being whisked away from one reality to another but what really caught my eye was Olivia Wilde as Quorra. Just from the few minutes with that character you get a feel for her inquisitiveness and playfulness as well. It stems from her line delivery but character seems lively and energetic from the moment she’s revealed.

My friend did comment on one scene (the last one in fact) that felt a little odd. He wondered why such an emotional scene between two characters had been placed in this footage when it would have been better served with a little more context. Seeing the footage in snapshots that while being shown sequentially felt odd because that there wasn’t much momentum because you always felt you were getting pieces of the film that you couldn’t really invest in. They were just on screen but required no involvement from the audience, it just left you hanging, waiting for the next bit which is the whole point of the preview but at the same time left me a little unsatisfied. Hopefully that will be sated when the film comes out but for that reason alone I’d rather not go to these preview events and just wait and see the whole film. It’s there to gain your attention but the film already had it (however little it may have been), I feel like I shouldn’t have watched it – but I did and it was good. I’m intrigued by the visuals especially since the story seems to be going down a route we’ve probably seen before.

My biggest worry is the main character, actually not the character himself but the CGI that is used. There’s something that’s a little off with it but he was never shown (at least his face wasn’t) in the footage. It’s the only thing that has me worried because it was very off-putting in the trailer seeing a CGI Jeff Bridges that looked younger and was perfect until you noticed how odd the lip synching looked. It’s the slight problem and with the footage (including the trailers) it’s the only tangible problem I have with what I’ve seen. I hope that’s a good omen.

Tron Legacy comes out in the UK on the 17th December


Posted on 02/11/2010, in Reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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