I saw the much anticipated "Tron Legacy" last night with several friends, in 3D IMAX. To get it out of the way, yes the plot is a lot of portentious, illogical, convoluted hoo-hah. Don't let it distract you.
"Tron Legacy" is about ridiculously cool light cycle fights, hyper-animated disc combat, and the most beautiful program in the world, Quorra, played by Olivia Wilde. At least that was the movie that I saw.
I appreciated how perfunctory the set-up of the movie was, before you are "rezzed" into the digital world of Tron. Flynn goes missing, his son is troubled, board meeting, blah blah blah… And then you are INSIDE THE COMPUTER. ZOMG.
For those of you who like me fondly remember the aesthetic of the first "Tron," there is a lot to feast your eyes on — the Recognizers, the Light Cycles, the Solar Sail, the glowy outfits — everything has been substantially upgraded, and in large part improved. The only thing I missed from the first movie was the hover tanks, which I thought were really neat the way they moved and were operated.
Overall the digital effects were very well integrated into the live action. Clearly much of what the actors were interacting with and holding were real objects, from the Light Cycles to their discs to the spaces they were walking around in. Even the glow on their outfits was actual electroluminescent wire, not something added in post production.
And the soundscape of the film is just great. Not just the Daft Punk score, which is so perfect, but also the sound effects and ambient sound of all the environments. I haven't wanted to buy a soundtrack in a long time, but I'm lusting after the music from this film.
The acting was fine. I never tire of Jeff Bridges — which is good because there are two of him in this film — the current 60 year version and his 25 year old alter ego, created through digital magic. My friend Swifty found digital Jeff Bridges distracting, but I thought he was appropriately artificial, triggering all sorts of "uncanny valley" feelings.
Overall, a fun and entertaining sci-fi adventure. Did I mention Olivia Wilde? Wow.