Finally got round to watching Tron Legacy last night.
One thing strikes Spaceman, why is CGI still so terrible looking?
Lawnmower Man head young Jeff Bridges aside, at the beginning of the film the camera pans over a pretty normal looking cityscape from a plane’s eye view in the real world before we go into the cyber world. But, and here is where CGI is totally overused even in a movie like Tron, the makers felt the need to CGI the cityscape, not because they needed to but because they wanted.
But Spaceman finds himself more distracted by the really fake looking young Jeff Bridge’s CGI head who has more screen time than old Jeff. There is little else in the film to hold the attention other than a matrix style story line involving Jeff Bridge’s Jnr as some kind of Neo character and Old Jeff Morpheus attempting to overthrow young digital Jeff Bridge’s Lawnmower man head’s regime.
Whilst, on the subject if Garrett Hedlund (who plays Bridges sprog) was trying to come across as a charisma free, charmless and rather boring Protagonist, then he succeeded big style. At times he looks like he is in a gurning competition or desperate for a toilet break, attempting to bring across the mix of bewildered emotions that his dad has done a runner 20 years previously.
Other than that though, there really is little else to capture the imagination in this. The frisbee games and light bike sequences fail to light the touchpaper and feel rather unexciting and bland in contrast to the original.
A susprisingly poor cameo by an otherwise excellent Michael Sheen as some kind of Cyber David Bowie smacks of Merovingian from Matrix Reloaded.
One part of the film which redeems itself is the Bladerunner Vangellis type soundtrack, which uses the harsh cold synth tones and elecrto beats to recreate an emotionless digital world. We don’t hear this type soundtrack much anymore but hopefully this will be the beginning of its re-emergence int othe movie world.
All in all, a very good concept but executed very poorly in a probable attempt to boost the flacid 3D cinema market.
On the subject of fake CGI characters, little seems to have improved since Lawnmower Man 20 years ago. Sure, shadow and skin tone is much better, but expression, real looking eyes and physical movement still seem relegated to some FMV scene from an old XBOX game.
3 years ago, Transformers seemingly pushed the envelope with the “almost tangible” huge robot CGI. But little else seems to have changed since.
So in summary, if this film succeeds in one area, it will hopefully persuade newbies to go and watch the original which after 30 years still looks as vibrant and cool as ever.