Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Another Tron movie?
So the news dropped earlier this week that Disney is going to start filming a third Tron movie, which is cool I guess. I don't know that anyone was really clamoring for it but the concept is cool and the last one, Tron: Legacy did good worldwide business to the tune of $400 million. Both movies were great ideas that fell a little short in execution. Neither movie was bad by any stretch but in both cases I found myself thinking 'is that all?' when they concluded. Tron was the matrix before The Matrix, if you will. Like the 1999 Keanu Reeves classic it took place inside a computer generated world contained all the networks and pathways that our systems operate on. The similarities don't end there. The character of Sark is a powerful strongman similar to Matrix's Agent Smith, who is ultimately serving a more powerful master (Tron's Master Control Program as opposed to The Matrix's sentient machines). And on the good side you have the tag team of Tron and Flynn, a heroic insider and super powered newcomer respectively, similar to Morpheus and Neo. Where the two departed was in depicting the state of the flesh and blood outside world. In The Matrix that world had already fallen to the machines that once served us while in the Tron movies things hadn't taken that tragic turn yet. And that's where The Matrix succeeds and the Tron films don't; in the latter the stakes for the outside world are explained but not shown in a way that gives the movie any gravity. What goes on in the computer world often seems more like an adventure of choice for Flynn and his son (in the sequel) rather than a mission to save the world from itself. The Tron films are both ultimately a two hour video game instead of a movie; it's hard to develop any real sense of care towards the characters even while you're mesmerized by the special effects. When Tron: Legacy ended I wasn't left with any sense of wanting to see what lay ahead for Sam Flynn going forward.
So why do more if you're Disney? Well, money talks and Tron: Legacy made a decent profit once you include the overseas gross. Despite everything I just said I would go see a third film if there weren't any other movies to see that weekend, and would definitely watch it On Demand later if I missed it in the theater. It's interesting enough to attract your attention but like the Transformers movies you're better off going in with realistic expectations and not holding out hope for it to reach it's potential. The one good thing about the lightweight execution is that they didn't try to do too much like the Matrix sequels and turn everyone off in the process. The Matrix Reloaded was like going into the fourth quarter of a football game with a 20 point lead, calling nothing but passing plays that result in interceptions that set up easy scores for the other team that cost you the lead and the game. By the time it's over you're dazed, confused and disgusted at what just transpired.
OK, I got off on a tangent. That's just how upset the Matrix sequels made me. But anyway, my final verdict for now on the third Tron film is that it will likely do as well and be as good as the second one. If they release it at a time of year when little else is out there it should make good money at the box office. And while the potential is there for it to be everything the Matrix trilogy failed to be, I don't expect it. There comes a point with all of these serialzed movies that you have to accept what they are if you're going to keep watching and going to them. You do that and you won't be disappointed. But if you go in there like we are wont to do with the Transformers movies thinking that this next one may be the one where they finally get it right.........don't be surprised when you feel like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulled the football away again.