Remember how the first Star Trek movie dragged? It was like that.
But I had trouble with a lot more than that. Here’s a start.
Sucky dialog, a lack of wit, interest, depth…. there were 2 remotely interesting lines in the movie. At one point Flynn says “the only way to win is not to play” which reminded me of “The only winning move is not to play” from Wargames. Though I think the screenwriters didn’t know what they were stuffing in his mouth. The other good line… well it couldn’t have been too good because I don’t remember it any more
Lack of visual imagination: What do you remember from the visual language of the original Tron? Neon clothing, light cycles, red stompy-ships, a grid-city, white flower-transport ships. Those are the ONLY visuals in the entire movie! Oh except for Flynn’s house which looked like, well, some guy’s neon zen retreat house. And the night club which looked suspiciously like Barbie’s Dream House painted white.
Cardboard characters: And I care about any of these characters why? If they ever talked, or had histories, or friends, I might care.
Ponderous pacing: If I see one more group of silent, angry men stomping down one more frigging generic glowing hallway!
Stupid lines:”Where did you learn that move, Sam?” “Last night when I jumped off Encom tower.” Umm, no he didn’t, that’s where he executed his carefully planned sabotage plan, not where he learned how to do it. The entire script was built on non-content like this.
There were innumerable times when they could have kept the plot tight or at least smooth but chose to not explain the world and just pull shit out of their asses when they remembered they needed to get to the end of the movie.
And little shit like when Clu blew up Zeus’s club. The editing leads us to believe that Zeus sat around staring at the timed explosives, waiting to die for the minute or two it took Clu to leave. But if Clu wanted Zeus dead, he obviously would have killed him by his own hand, that is how Clu operates, in first-person. The way Clu “killed” Zeus in the movie is… it just makes no sense.
Clu stood before his army giving a loooong boring monomaniacal speech. Why except to scare all the 12 year olds in the audience? It certainly wasn’t for his inexplicably slave-like army of programs. And why would he have amassed his army at this moment if his (as stated!) goal was to just get into the real world? And how was he planning on bringing his army through the basement of the arcade without any reconnaissance?
And what the fuck was with a faceless Tron having all these silly cameos? Especially considering that they had Bruce Boxleitner (Tron from the old movie) standing RIGHT THERE.
Not using the medium properly: The movie opened with a long flashback to 1989 when a young Flynn is tucking his son into bed. Disney created a (mostly) realistic, animated Flynn for the scene so they could have a young Jeff Bridges. Unfortunately, this animated face is still in deep, dark folds of the uncanny valley. Then they used the EXACT SAME ANIMATED FACE for Clu inside the grid, which could be kind of cool because he looks ALMOST real but is superfreaky-not-real and scary, just the way he should look. But they used the same effect for the young Flynn! What am I supposed to take away from this? It just makes no sense.