[Spoiler alert] This Christmas Eve *Eve* I went to watch Tron with a new old friend. In short, it was mesmerizing, visually and audibly. There were parts were my jaw dropped and a string of exclamatory remarks could only come out, “sweet; sick; no way; wow.” [Wow] is how I summarized the experience afterwards.
But there were some fatal flaws that kept a good movie from becoming great, and in retrospect, really kinda bugged me:
- Zeus (Zuse?). I love the guy who played this role – amazing diversity (Unthinkable, Frost-Nixon, The Queen) but he just didn’t fit this role. It was a David Bowie knock-off that shoulda just had David Bowie play the role. That formula was well-played in the past by rock stars in movies (Sting in Dune, David Bowie in… something?) but Michael Sheen just didn’t seem to carry the same Gene Kelly-esque grace required to play the role.
- And why the double personae? That really irked me. Why did the writers feel the need to identify him as Castor, and then build up our hopes to say he was Zuse all along? It was an unnecessary plot reverb, in my opinion. They shoulda just called him Zuse all along.
- TRON himself. The whole movie was about this yin-yang balance thing, balancing out the equation, canceling each other out, and trying to throw the whole thing off. Tron himself, in my opinion, was the wildcard, the plot angle that throws everything off and propels the story forward in new directions. It was exactly what was needed towards the end, but they didn’t develop it enough! They just let Tron sink into the water, and so the ending of the story did as well. They resurrected a young Jeff Bridges (which was freaking awesome, btw); couldn’t they have done the same with a “young” Tron?
- The underspoken ending. Needed a lot more thought put into it. And a little detail irk: They come out of the grid – fully clothed. How? And the iso storyline – could’ve been written out more for its implications in the world of the users.
- But there was some great acting by Jeff Bridges / Garrett Hedlund and the whole father / son love bit that I resonated with. It was powerful.
- Again. Just visually amazing.
In sum, Disney shoulda got some better plot writers. I always bemoan good movies gone mediocre because there is just a lack of good, solid writing out there. Loved the old Tron, liked the new one, but left wanting more concise thinking; clarity.