When words get in the way

I am going to complain about Tron:Legacy right now, and there’s bound to be some spoiler-grade information in here, so consider that your warning.

A little background: I am not one of the loyal audience who hold the original TRON movie in a place of reverence in their heart. I don’t even know if  I’ve seen the whole movie, to be honest. My parents took me to very few movies, so most of my childhood exposure to motion pictures was on tv, and I tend to flip channels aggressively as soon as my attention wanders or a commercial comes on. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the aesthetic of the movies. The soundtrack of Legacy is fantastic, crafted by the robotic duo in Daft Punk. It’s a shame that the script gets in the way of the visual and musical presentation.

Oh, the ruinous dialogue. Scraps of sentences swept up from the big pile of terrible action movie clichés, mashed together with awkward exposition and terrible hippie nonsense, to form a continuous string of cringe-inducing mouth noise. If only they had removed the dialogue and double the soundtrack.

The plot is also a mess, cribbing elements from other popular movies but adding nothing new to the interpretation. There is a huge setup for a plot twist involving the self-interested program named Zeus, but that potential is thrown out the window in a big,pointless explosion.

The actors do  the best they can with the awfulness forced upon them, but Jeff Bridges can only do so  much. And the rubbery computer version of young Jeff is stuck firmly in the uncanny valley and is uncomfortable to watch, though this is considerably amplified by the wretched speeches compu-Jeff has to deliver.

As a dad, I have a personal beef with this movie. The main characters father is trapped in a computerland for 12 years. He has not seen him since he was 12. His father has realized during his exile that his son was the best part of his life (“Perfection was right in front of me the whole time”). And yet, at their reunion neither one of them says ‘I love you’. Not once. Not even at the big climax of the movie where the fate of the electro-world is being decided. THEY GO THE WHOLE MOVIE WITHOUT TELLING EACH OTHER ‘I LOVE YOU’. I can tell you that the first thing that comes out of my mouth after I’ve been away from Max for as little as an hour is ‘I love you’. But these two jerks can’t be bothered.

Oh sure, you get the cliché Hollywood man-tear in the corner of their eyes, but that does not cut it. Especially from a father character who is spouting terrible hippie talk throughout the movie. Hippies tell their waiters they love them when the food arrives hot.

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