Tron Legacy: Ultimate Frisbee

Two hours of Garrett Hedlund springing about in lycra, hurtling deadly neon frisbees at people one minute, launching himself dramatically into the arms of holographic vehicles the next – Tron Legacy was surprisingly exhilarating and wonderfully camp.

I enjoyed all the Disneyfied neon orgasms that were exploding left, right and centre, I relished the Kylie video clothing, I even got caught up a little bit in the film’s drama and symbolic explorations. Are sci-fi films always this swishy? Am I missing out on something?

The geek aspects of the movie were admittedly a bit trying. Of course Tron Legacy is catering for that socially awkward and desperately escapist sci-fi boff market, so certain geekiness should be expected. Still, Michael Sheen’s character Castor was a ridiculous cyber-goth indulgence, dressed as a lurid platinum blond child-snatcher from the future, prancing about a classic sci-fi movie nightclub (an onscreen depiction of a nightclub for an audience that has never stepped foot inside a nightclub), waving a Willy Wonka staff about, it bordered upon intolerable to the extent that David Tennant sprang to mind. The relentlessly husky Hollywood dialogue (and sheer abundance of pointless lines) was a bit crap too, but just about manageable thanks to the cyclical shots of Garrett Hedlund’s arse in a catsuit.
Olivia Wilde was quite good as ‘Quorra’, with her hair all hacked off, she played a combination of Alice Glass from Crystal Castles, Milla Jovavich in Zoolander and that AOL woman from the last 90s.
Jeff Bridges, an actor from the original Tron movie who is currently being hailed in America as their “most underappreciated actor”, sadly came across as a poor man’s Sir Ian McKEllan, offering little more than a disappointing mimic of Magneto in X-Men. James Frain, on the other hand, was brilliant as Jarvis (pictured below), it’s a shame his character wasn’t explored more.
The Daft Punk soundtrack wasn’t as titillating as I’d hoped it would be. Quite traditional really, with strings arrangements and no vocals. I wanted to hear a more daring offering from the visionary duo. Their cameo appearance, although intentionally cheesy I’m sure, came across as ever so slightly naff. Although the music is undoubtedly one of the film’s strengths, and indeed the major turning force behind the movie’s PR wheel, Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy soundtrack was no major feat and is incomparable to their magnum opus on Interstellar 5555.
Finally the film employed wordplay quite successfully to build extended metaphors around computer technology and human emotion, from memory disks and portals to larger almost profound concepts like ‘game over’ and the notion of a ‘user’.
I’d recommend going to see Tron Legacy at the cinema, to receive the full impact of the film’s graphics, futuristic charge and general intergalactic chaos. Seeing the original is by no means necessary, although a few YouTube highlights like the original LightBikes scene will help contextualise what is ultimately a high-budget homage. Fun and futuristic, it will be interesting to see how this film dates in years to come.
Below: James Frain as Jarvis / Daft Punk's Insterstella 5555 / Garrett Hedlund sighing at his own beauty.

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