Critics Consensus: Tron Legacy Looks Great, But Feels Cold

Summary

This week at the movies, we?ve got a combative computer (Tron Legacy, starring Jeff Bridges and Garrett Hedlund), buffoonish bears (Yogi Bear, starring Dan Akroyd and Justin Timberlake), a rollicking romance (How Do You Know, starring Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd), a promising pugilist (The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale), and brooding ballerinas (Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis). What do the critics have to say? Upon its release in 1982, TRON was hailed as a technical marvel; its status as one of the first films to rely prominently on computer-generated images helped to cover the fact that the plot was a little goofy. Now, the long gestating and heavily-anticipated sequel Tron Legacy is here, and critics say it has the opposite problem. Back to Article

Comments

Danetto

Dan Nikolaevskij

the fighter looks so cheap. i hate it already... since its obvious they only made it for the oscars...

Dec 17 - 04:21 AM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey

It looks like nothing more than a formulaic inspirational boxing story to me. I can't believe SI named it the best sports movie of the decade, what a joke.

Dec 17 - 10:52 AM

Christopher256G

Christopher Greffin

Tron fanboys taking thieir anger out on good movies. Pathetic.

Dec 17 - 03:55 PM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

Well given that there have only been 12 months in this decade so far...

Dec 17 - 05:05 PM

Patrick

Patrick Wagner

So true!

Dec 17 - 10:34 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Have you two even seen the film yet? If not, your comments are empty.

Dec 18 - 11:11 AM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

Pity. I'll probably still see Tron, but it won't be a high priority anymore. On the other hand, I'm going to try and get a Fighter showing in tomorrow morning before things get too busy. Saw Black Swan last week and it was amazing. Portman deserves every single bit of Oscar praise she's garnering.

In other good news, we FINALLY got King's Speech today. Going to see it right after work.

Dec 17 - 04:27 AM

Confounded

Matthew Bertram

What opportunity? Make a visual masterpiece to showcase Disney's technical brilliance? Seems like the managed that. Hype up a film to the point of frenzy for the holiday season? Think they got it right there too. How about surpass the original for a new generation? Despite the low tomatometer, the general concensus seems to be they accomplished that as well.

If you think their intention was to make a quality film to win awards for acting, directing, or screenplay; then you're missing the point. It's a live-action Disney movie, made with a first-time director, 3 decades after the original (which was notoriously bad in the story department as well). That, once it turns a profit, will be greenlit for a sequel. Seems like they took the opportunity to me.

Dec 17 - 06:28 AM

AniMill

Curtis Sponsler

Agreed, I never thought this would have a "deep" script or acting, that it would be all dazzle. But I am bummed since Pixar is so rooted in original TRON inventors/designers. I was concerned about the first-time director thing might muck things up - but I'm not surprised... I just hope I'm not disappointed when I see it.

Dec 17 - 06:39 AM

yintagh

Moishe McTavish

You're quite right,as I was watching the end of it,it seemed to me that it was ripe for a sequel.

Dec 18 - 12:00 AM

AniMill

Curtis Sponsler

Agreed, I never thought this would have a "deep" script or acting, that it would be all dazzle. But I am bummed since Pixar is so rooted in original TRON inventors/designers. I was concerned about the first-time director thing might muck things up - but I'm not surprised... I just hope I'm not disappointed when I see it.

Dec 17 - 06:39 AM

Max the Movie Kid

Max Chittock

So many films have to be so damn long these days. :\ Sure they were long back then, but they seem to be going a little too far.

Dec 17 - 06:49 AM

Confounded

Matthew Bertram

I apologize. I didn't mean that to sound as douchey as it came off. Let me phrase it this way. The first Star Wars sits at 94% on the tomatometer. This is the consensus: "The action and special effects are first rate." That's it. Legacy has basically the exact same consensus, yet it sits below 50%. If anyone alive thinks that Star Wars had good acting, good direction, and didn't have story holes so big you can fly a Millenium Falcon through them; then they are deluding themselves. It's a beloved movie, but it's a BAD movie. (Don't misread me, I love Star Wars).

And yes, I understand the actual story is better. But is having a poorly executed story as opposed to not having a good story to start what separates a classic from a disappointment? Or maybe the expectations of today's critics are a bit skewed. What ever happened to basing judgements on the expectations of the film itself? Pirahna 3-D is at 74% precisely because critics got that it was never trying to take itself seriously.

Tron wasn't supposed to try and be The Godfather on the Grid. Or Avatar. Or anything more than a holiday popcorn adventure with great effects, pumping soundtrack, and a theater full of nostalgic fans grinning ear to ear along with their kids.

I'm going to revel in the visual feast, and a week later I'll go see True Grit to get my Jeff Bridges quality.

Dec 17 - 07:05 AM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

I disagree. A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back were both Good movies. Any Star Wars after those i support your theory. But im fond of all them. I'm not really a fan of crazy dance numbers in jabba's palace, ewoks, jar jar binks, a cheesy love story (anakin and padme), or star wars prequel politics, but all of the movies bring something to the table that i enjoy.

Dec 17 - 10:00 AM

Confounded

Matthew Bertram

My problem with A New Hope is George Lucas. He's a lot like Michael Bay. He can direct sequences but not people. The acting in it is awful. Every time Mark Hamill is on screen, I cringe. The dialogue makes me laugh when it's not supposed to. Here's more food for thought, Empire is actually rating better on the tomatometer at 97%, but the consensus is "It has the great visuals of the original but lacks the entertainment." Sometimes the system just doesn't work when you try and look at it objectively. The only major awards the movies won were in design/music. And while Daft Punk is no John Williams, I think you can see some of the similarities in strengths/weaknesses of Star Wars and Tron.

Dec 17 - 10:23 AM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

I agree with you Doomzdavo about Episodes VI, I, & II. The puppets, CGI, bad acting, brain-dead politics serve to dampen my enjoyment of those movies. However, Lucas (in my opinion) figured a way to make all that work in Episode III. I even found the politics fascinating. Padme's line "so this is how liberty dies" gave me goosebumps. The symbolism of the Emperor laying waste to the Senate chamber was pretty spectacular. I just wish Lucas had rediscovered his mojo a lot sooner.

Dec 17 - 10:43 AM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

Well I just recently rewatched all three of the original trilogy last week, and i thought the acting was decent enough. A little B movie cheese, but it all mixed well with the special effects and likeable characters. I noticed that Han Solo got softer as the series went on, but he was still a pimp. Luke had lost all personality by Return of the Jedi, and Leia got a bit sexier each installment. The movies have their faults, but they are still great. Revenge of the Sith was awesome. Only real problem I had with that one was the dialogue between Anakin and Padme. Everything else rocked.

Dec 17 - 06:24 PM

Clint D.

Clint Davis

You are forgetting a major point in that Star Wars was one of the first films to pull off the SFX as perfectly as they still are today. That movie was put together with glue and tape because there was no such things as SFX houses back then. It is truly a miracle of film that it is as great of a film as it is.
Fast forward 33 years later to Tron 2 who has all of the technology that Star Wars spawned at its disposal and its just not as special.

Dec 17 - 10:30 AM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

Great point. I think both you and Confounded have effectively shown that context makes film critique a tricky endeavor.

Dec 17 - 10:46 AM

Confounded

Matthew Bertram

I will never deny that Star Wars was a benchmark in SFX for its time (much like the original Tron). I guess I find myself wondering why, if glue/tape/midgets/John Williams is a formula for classic cinema, Tron and Legacy are getting shot down because of poor storytelling.

Dec 17 - 12:03 PM

Ronnie B.

Ronnie Bhaumik

whoa...never did i think that tron would fall from fresh to rotten..how did this happen??Is it really that bad?

Dec 17 - 07:18 AM

CFM

'schak Attack

A lot is being made with Tron's Around-50% Tomatometer score. Here's my take.

If a movie scores 30% or less, it's usually a "skip" for me. Unless it's right up my alley (for example, I'll try anything with werewolves and/or vampires)(exception: Twilight), experience has shown that *usually* a 30%-or-below movie ends up being a waste of my time (my most valuable commodity).

If a movie scores 70% or more, it's usually a "rent-asap" for me. Unless it's way out of my wheelhouse (for example, musicals or country singer bio-movies), experience has shown that *usually* a 70%-or-above movie ends up having something that I'll like.

For movies with an "in-the-middle" Tomatometer score, it usually comes down to this: if it's the kind of movie that I'd be into, then I'll probably (in one way or another) dig it...at least enough to justify the 2 hours of life spent watching it.

Tron sitting at 50% doesn't surprise me a whole lot. The consensus seems to be that Tron is visually and audiably stunning, and the script and story is weak. Some critics will thus conclude that the cup is half empty. Others will see this as the cup being half full. Roughly 50%.

If you are into movies such as Tron, and you're expectations are in check, then I'd bet most of us will end up agreeing that upon seeing Tron, the cup is half full.

If you require more than visually and audibly stunning, then I'd recommend holding out for a more appealing 70%'er.

One Dude's Take.

Dec 17 - 09:13 AM

Dude L.

Dude L

When the original Tron came out in 1982, people had no idea that computers could even talk to one another. ARPANET wasn't common knowledge. Artificial Intelligence (arguably) wasn't a very mainstream sci-fi theme yet either. And nobody had used computer graphics at this level yet. I'm quite sure the creators of the first movie had difficulty in formulating the plot and story so that the average user could grasp the concepts. Having to tie it in with video games certainly complicated matters for them. It's no wonder that the film's central theme--keeping information free when a dictator runs the internet--got watered down in the telling. To me, Tron was prophetic, and with the Net Neutrality debate still unresolved, it still is. Whoever controls the internet controls how much information can be disseminated. I only hope this new movie tries to build on that theme.

Dec 17 - 09:32 AM

Bryan L.

Bryan Long

Very well stated.

Dec 18 - 12:43 PM

Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson

Guess Scott Pilgrim was the last good movie of the year and it came out in fucking August!! What a dissapointing Fall/Winter for the movies. Fuck Twilight, Fuck Harry Potter and Fuck You Hollywood!

--

Cause you're opinion is really fact. Scott Pilgrim wasn't the last good movie of the year. What about the Social Network, Black Swan, Harry Potter, The Fighter? Don't talk shit when you clearly have no knowledge of whats good and whats not.

Dec 17 - 09:41 AM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

the Town was a good movie.

Dec 17 - 10:04 AM

Alex L.

Alex Lavoie

The Town is overrated.

Dec 17 - 11:26 AM

doomzdavo

Doomz Davo

definitely. but still good

Dec 17 - 06:32 PM

Clint D.

Clint Davis

The best film of the year for me is still Let Me In and not a damn person saw it in the theatres but a Certified Rotten film like Tron 2 will outgross it in its first hour of release. Now that sucks!

Dec 17 - 10:36 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Calm down, Brandon. Cuz I'll tell you what. You forgot to mention Inception, which is my book is the best film of 2010 or at least in the top five. Looking forward to Black Swan and The Fighter. Could care less about the Facebook movie. And yes, fuck Harry Potter!

Dec 17 - 06:02 PM

What's Hot On RT

Cosplay Gallery
Cosplay Gallery

See over 250 Comic-Con Costumes!

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

Hercules Is Mighty Fun

Historical TV Shows
Historical TV Shows

40 TV depictions of past eras

Weekly Ketchup
Weekly Ketchup

Idris Elba joins King Arthur

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile