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>As a huge fan of Electronica Kings Daft Punk, of course I purchased their soundtrack to Disney’s “Tron: Legacy” when it was released last November. My reaction was so lukewarm however I sort of put the album aside until I saw the movie, thinking it might not be fair to judge the soundtrack alone and that I may end up enjoying the music more if I had the visual counterpart. So when the film was released to DVD and Blu Ray this past Tuesday I jumped on it.

As for the album, the film didn’t really help. While I was watching the film, the soundtrack was a little underwhelming even than. Most of the times, the backing soundtrack felt a little like generic “futuristic” elevator music and not the unique, infectious Daft Punk sound I was expecting. There’s a scene early on where Sam Flynn is being chased by the police and the underlying score (“The Son of Flynn”) is just a simple loop of a keyboard sequence and it never elevated or went anywhere although you’d think they’d match up the music to the action in the scene. And the sort of light electronic sounds heard on one scene sound way too similar to most of the other tracks on this soundtrack. There’s a bit of a Daft stamp on them, but almost in the way of some lesser producer stealing their sound and producing really washed out and boring tracks instead. And there are even times when it doesn’t sound like Daft Punk at all, the scene where Quorra is introduced (“Outlands”) and she’s driving Sam into his fathers secret lair sounds way too much like the Danny Elfman scoring in a similar scene in 1989’s “Batman”. For the most part, Daft’s score is just too pedestrian and simple. It almost feels like they felt the pressure of doing a big Hollywood score and were scared to truly be themselves, which is a shame. Their cameo in the movie was cute though, and gave us the best moments from the score, the first single “Derezzed” and “End of the Line”. Unfortunately, even after viewing the film, this outing was a big disappointment and I just can’t wait for their next Real Daft album.

Rating: 2 of 5
Best: Derezzed, End of Line, Fall

The movie, surprisingly enough, was actually much better than expected. Even though I’m a child of the 80’s I’d never seen the original “Tron” just heard of it (and seen film stills from it), but you imagine there was a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo but for all real purposes it was just a visual movie you’d watch for the special effects. In that way, “Tron: Legacy” is a success because it’s truly one of the movies you can’t take your eyes off. And there is a lot of dialogue about grid’s and power sources and disks and a host of things viewers really don’t need to know that much about, but the main focus is the visual aspect. The pretty amazing CGI and overall design of the computer world that Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) finds himself in after locating the office of his father Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who has been missing in the real world for over 15 years. Sam, as much of a computer genius as his father who created a Microsoft-like empire in the 1980’s (after the first “Tron” film), finds himself in the Grid and is immediately set-up to participate in ‘Games’, which is punishment for bad ‘programs’. The ‘Games’ portion is probably the best part of the movie, he goes through a series of ‘Air Hockey’-like games before he is set up for the Bike Race which takes the cake visually. It takes what has become classic from the first film and elevates it for the new generation and it is both aesthetically stunning and heart pounding, edge of your seat excitement. Sam is finally reunited with his father, (not Clu, the grid clone of his father) and the rest of the movie is their plan to escape the grid and get back to the real world.
Again there is a lot of unnecessary chatter here, and the script generously takes bits from “The Matrix” and “Inception” to try to prevent plot holes, but it’s all okay because the film is an exciting one which can be followed with the minimal amount of information about the Flynn’s.
This is nowhere near a Great movie, don’t get me wrong, but pretty much everything from the acting to the writing were on par and nothing to complain about. The one major complaint, and maybe just because it looked so weird, was the CGI-fication of Jeff Bridges for his scenes as the younger father and for Clu. The animators did a really good job for the most part, but they really haven’t perfected doing a human in CGI and making him look 100% real. Which I suppose actors are happy about.

Rating: 3.5 of 5

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