Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tron, Reloaded

I saw the remake of Tron a couple days ago with my son. He gave it a 9 out of 10 (but then, he never gives anything less than an 8 if it's got spaceships and laser beams). I gave it about a 2. It was just plain awful.

The story made even less sense than the original: guy is somehow translated into his computer, where he has to fight programs in human form with spinning-laser-disk-frisbee-things and lightspeed motorcycles. One of the programs, a clone of the creator, wants to take over the world (he was designed to create perfection, and he's pissed when his creator suggests that perfection is unattainable). Another program, a really hot chick, turns out to be an angel of some sort. And yet another program, named Zeus (huh?), camps it up in possibly the most bizarre scene in the film, wherein he dances in white tailcoat and cane while the creator's son, who's also been zapped into the computer, gets his ass kicked.

We saw it in 2-D, thank God, because I don't think I could have taken all the blinking lights and neon laser thingies if I'd seen it in 3-D or, worse, Imax. But even in 2-D, it was barely watchable.

It was also, for what it's worth, yet another of the recent fantasy films that tries to insert a religious element into the mix. But its religion was so muddled and confused, it made me long for the simple allegory of Narnia and its ilk. The creator of the programs is kinda like Jehovah, see, except he's into a whole Zen Buddhist thing (except when he's kicking people's--er, programs'--asses), and the program that opposes him is kinda like Satan, I guess, and the cute girl is an angel, maybe, and the whole place is a utopian society, possibly, unless it's not, in which case it's something else. All they needed was a wise Native American elder to pronounce statements like, "The earth is our mother," and then they'd pretty much have covered everything.

I'd love to see a fantasy film that deals with religion in an intelligent way: not by bashing it (like Legion or your typical vampire film), reifying it into allegory (like Narnia et al.), or throwing every damn thing into the hopper and hoping it'll make sense somehow (like Tron). If you've got any suggestions, please, send them my way.

In the meantime, I think I'll go do a Zen Buddhist thing and kick somebody's ass.

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