"Tron: Legacy" may prove 3-D has a place in dramas.
Disney previewed 20 minutes of the long-gestating sequel to media and fans around the world Oct. 28.
The scenes, culled from the film's first half, generally were extended versions of the trailers: motorcycle chases, hot robots, neon-discus fights.
It's all very loud, sleek and thrilling, such as TV commercials for running shoes, European cars or video games (where the Mouse House "found" director Joseph Kosinski).
Disney, however, must have realized what they had in the preview's final scene: Quorra (Olivia Wilde) brings Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) to his estranged father, Kevin (Jeff Bridges), a techno-hermit hiding "off the grid" for the past 25 years
The father is happy, stunned, sad and fearful when he sees his grown son. A tear rolls down Sam's cheek. Quorra is thrilled and puzzled.
The moment needs to be seen in context of the complete film, but there's an unexpected poignancy that might be attributable to the 3-D. You feel as though you're in the room as father and son reconnect.
The feeling also might have been provoked by any number of things. Maybe Jeff Bridges is that good of an actor. Maybe after 10 minutes of fast and furious, there is comfort in contemplation.
3-D is often too dark and frequently unnecessary. It also regularly leads to effects bloat - just because you can show a spaceship landing doesn't mean it helps your story along (the preview was full of such moments).
But if someone could show the added dimension is valuable outside the realm of cartoony, effects-driven blockbusters, it might become more than a multibillion dollar fad.
How ironic such a blockbuster could lead the way.