December 22, 2010

Tron's Legacy: Why Tomorrow(land) Will Matter Again

Let me state this up front: I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of science fiction. Star Wars was a very creative and groundbreaking film, but it didn't rock my world. I'll even skip Disneyland's Star Tours most every visit, only riding when the queue is short or if I have first time guests with me. Even though I am a big fan of writer Jules Verne, its his earthbound stories that entice me, not those in outer space. I am not a techno fiend. I do not have to own the latest and greatest technology. Nor am I, by and large, a fan of house music, although some has crept into my library over the years.

With all that information as a lead in, I did not expect to be dazzled by Tron: Legacy, but was I ever! The acting is better than adequate but certainly not Oscar worthy. Jeff Bridges does the best he can with a limited script. The same can be said for Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde. Yet, all of them are attractive and somewhat compelling characters by nature of their circumstances.

So, what is it that pulled me into the story and kept my interest? Two words: Light Cycle. Give me one now and let me ride! I am sure Disney's Imagineers have designed the ultimate in Tron experiences for Disneyland. Hear this- If you build it, we will come! Whether it is something akin to DisneyQuest's virtual reality helmets, a new spin on Test Track, or a fresh take on Tomorrowland's now defunct Rocket Rods, riding a light cycle will have me queueing for hours. My bet is I won't be alone, as fans would swarm to the attraction and even more so for a Tron themed remake of Tomorrowland. The redemption of the land of the future could be near.

Not every film can be held together by great visuals and action, however. And just when I thought that is all Tron would be, the movie surprised me by offering a twist: the clear and not so subtle context of what goes wrong when someone attempts to build a Utopian world without a clear understanding of the nature of man and his need for his creator. Man minus God and his moral standards are the surest recipe for disaster. Flynn's immaculate library was filled with the world's greatest books. He himself had the greatest of intentions. Yet it all fell apart eventually until, well... no spoilers here. Go see the film and follow the storyline for yourself.

Sonically, the music of Daft Punk perfectly underscored the pulsation of the movie. It breathed life into the slowest of scenes and elevated the ones with high energy. This combination felt right, unlike so many other ideas where Disney tries to be hip and edgy. In this regard, Tron could be seen by music fans as a two hour long form video for the band- and they would be right. There was a nice retro touch early on. Hearing Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams and the classy touch of Annie Lennox's voice- perfectly positioned in the film. Also thinking Donna Summer's amazing "I Feel Love" could have fit in here, too.

Will Tron:Legacy be an Oscar contender next year? Not for Best Picture. It should get some nods for the artistic elements in the film, but it will be another "pretty" picture as was Avatar. Is it worth your time at the theater? Absolutely- go now and see it on the bog screen to get the full effect. Would it be worth a good portion of your day at Disneyland if made into a major attraction? Without a doubt. The potential for a classic, iconic attraction is that good.

As for me, I'm counting the days until Tron the Attraction debuts- and I'll see you there on opening day.

No comments: