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December 17, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Few moviegoers will be heading to the theaters to see Disney’s Tron: Legacy for the plot. But while the effects may be all that matters to the public, many critics have different standards by which to appraise movies. Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal is one of them. “It’s dispiriting to see how little attention the filmmakers have paid to the dramatic — read human — possibilities of the original, or how much they’ve been overwhelmed by technology’s demands. It’s as though rogue programs took over the production,” he writes. And as Claudia Puig observes in USA Today: “Like its predecessor, which was celebrated for its pioneering computer graphics, this new Tron is glossy. But its story is impenetrable, often nonsensical.” Kyle Smith in the New York Post was clearly of two minds about the movie: “Many were the moments, during action scenes, when I (nearly) shed my customary phlegmatic equilibrium and (almost) thought: Hey, this is really exciting! As for the script: abort, retry, fail?” As for the attempt to use computers to recreate Jeff Bridges’s youthful look 30 years ago, Manohla Dargis in the New York Times concludes that it “looks like an animated death mask.” But Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times is impressed, calling the result “uncanny.” Ebert’s take on the movie as a whole: Like the first film, it “can’t be understood, but looks great.” He recalls that when 2001 was released, “there were fans who got stoned and sneaked in during the intermission for the sound-and-light trip. I hesitate to suggest that for Tron: Legacy, but the plot won’t suffer.”