Before seeing Tron: Legacy today, I checked out the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, as usual. I saw that most critics hated it, but that audience reviews were strong. I kind of expected that; Tron isn’t going to be a movie that makes your average film critic sing its praises. I took special note of the set of critics that I think are tools: O’Hehir of Salon, Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, Stevens of Slate. They’re valuable to me as negative indicators. I find that if it’s a movie that I’m interested in seeing, and they hate it, I’ll often have a good time. As expected, they all trashed the film.
I usually ignore Claudia Puig of USA Today, because, well, she’s not often of any interest. But this one should be in the annals of critics foolishly Not Getting It: “For a far more thought-provoking tale about the virtual realm, try The Social Network.”
One, the movies are in completely different genres; it’s fundamentally wrong to compare them in that fashion. Two, The Social Network isn’t about the virtual realm at all. None of it is set in “Facebook world,” the way the virtual world exists in Tron. Three, this is the sort of incisive comment made by someone who thinks, “Well, they’re both sort of about computers.” And then stops thinking.
I understand being under deadlines. But that’s embarrassingly shallow writing.