Tonight, Grandpa and I went to see Tron Legacy in 3D, followed by dinner at Steak & Shake. It was a fascinating movie, and I'm glad that we went, but it kind of defies conventional categories.
The number one thing about the movie, in my opinion, is its timelessness. The pace is not the typical action-movie fast pace. It's actually kind of slow, in terms of how events unfold. The plot is extremely conventional: the dad disappears early in the hero's life, the hero enters into the world to meet the villain, then is rescued by his dad's team, etc., etc., etc. There really isn't much doubt about how the end of the movie turns out. Despite these things, the movie flows past and around the audience, and suddenly two hours plus has past without notice.
The number two thing is the effects: incredible and interesting and entertaining and beautiful and engaging special effects. The 3D in the movie was used to incredible artistic expression; it was an expressive element that enhanced the experience and brought the Tron world into a more real place. Some movies' 3D effects are incredible and important, such as Avatar. Some movies are 3D and shouldn't be 3D (I'm thinking of you, Shrek Forever). This movie was in the same category as Avatar in terms of the effects, although the opposite in terms of world: instead of creating life in a natural environment, the world was an artificial, modernist, computer world with "programs" instead of people.
The number three thing is the primary conflict, between Jeff Bridges and Young Jeff Bridges. The effects, which had Young Jeff Bridges as the antagonist, were amazing. I'm astonished at how the computers made the Young Jeff Bridges so lifelike and adaptive! I enjoyed it thoroughly.
So, this whole movie was an interesting mix: not a great plot, decent but not extraordinary acting, slow pace, amazing effects, chemistry between the protagonist and antagonist, and an interesting timelessness. I need to think about this some more, maybe watch it another time or two as things start to crystallize in my mind about this movie. I recommend this movie highly. It's not necessarily for children; I don't think that it's for my young kids, but I think it would be great for a 10-11 year old who loves science fiction. Maybe a younger kid, too, because light cycles and disc battles are really cool. Definitely recommended for the geeks like me.