Just finished watching Tron Legacy (something I've had from the Netflicks for about two weeks now...it's just tough finding time to watch movies, ya' know?), and I have to say it's one of the best fantasy films I've seen in the last couple years.
For what it is...I mean, it's so bizarre it can really only be described in terms of high concept fantasy. It's not "science fiction," there's nothing scientific about it, really. Sure there are computers (kind of) but as with the original film (from what I remember), these get left behind pretty quick and we are transported to this crazy world with its own "natural laws," customs, society, and bizarro-weirdness. It was quite interesting to watch, and for me, that made it enjoyable.
I'm not sure how it did in the theaters...it's so different from what one normally sees. It has some action, but it's not an action film. It has some special effects, but it doesn't linger on them much. It's got a nice pacing that pushes the plot along quick enough that kids don't get bored (this is a Disney film, right?) and yet, and the background narratives are kept mercifully short and sweet.
In a way, it reminded me of Dungeons & Dragons: at least of the "old school" variety. The flimsiest of plots coupled with the exploration of the strange and unusual, with a couple fights, and some puzzles/challenges thrown in. I could probably draw some half-assed parallels between gamers and games and users and programs and such...but as with D&D, I don't think the film was meant to be particularly high-brow or make a whole lot of "sense" in terms of the real world.
Ha! I especially liked how they spent absolutely zero time trying to explain how or why a person can get "zapped" into a computer (or come out again). This is like Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever knocking himself out on occasion and just waking up in never-never land (or John Carter ending up on Mars in the same fashion). Right on...let's just get to exploring!
And what a weird and gorgeous visual spectacle...I can only imagine it would have been super-cool in the theater, but I still liked the art direction immensely...all those lights/colors on darkness gave the impression of an alternate dimension without making you go crazy trying to pick out every little detail. Heck, I even liked the constantly droning soundtrack that gave the whole thing a kind of dark, Blade Runner type vibe...never any upbeat tones of excitement to this weird adventure in a totalitarian universe.
Anyway, it's probably not one I'd buy or need to watch a second time, but it IS one I'd like the boy to see eventually. It's a good fantasy/fable film...and so much better than, say, the latest Clash of the Titans or even Avatar (the latter of which was, admittedly, visually stunning in the theater). I liked it.