Hypothetically speaking, how would you describe the sun to someone who's never seen it before and has asked you "what it's like"? Think about the sun for a moment - what it means for humans, animals, plants, energy, life, time, etc.
Would you simply answer, "It's warm...radiant. Beautiful."?
If you can think of something better than that, send off a script ASAP to the top brass at Disney as they busily prepare a multi-platform franchise to rival their fading Pirates of the Caribbean goldmine. Not that the dialogue in the Pirates movies is much better, but if the TRON series can't depend on the charm and star power of the likes of Depp, Knightley, Bloom, and Rush, it's going to have a long way to go to win over science fiction-allergic critics, despite its impressive visual effects.
And the effects are, in a word, astonishing. Right from the opening zoom shot through the skyscrapers of Center City, I had a feeling TRON: Legacy would make my eyes pop more than any movie since Avatar. I suppose that's not saying much since it's only been a year, but you have to consider just how much of a treat it is to still be impressed by visual effects in 2010. Today it's possible to produce realistic representations of anything the imagination can devise (maybe with the exception of CG faces, as evidenced by the cringe-worthy representation of Jeff Bridges circa 1982), and spectacular visual effects go unnoticed by all of us on a daily basis, in everything from television commercials to internet flash animations. I think 3D significantly detracts from all of this more than it enhances it (and the 3D is thankfully at a bare minimum in this movie), but my point is, we've come a long way, baby, and I don't want to take that for granted.
Unfortunately, script development hasn't evolved nearly as quickly as filmmaking technology. Blockbusters with juicy story potential like TRON: Legacy and, to be fair, Avatar, continue to be bogged down by moronic dialogue, and often sub-par acting to boot (see also: Speed Racer). I won't lay any of the blame on first-time director Joseph Kosinski, and I hope to see more from his architecturally-refined mind, but with presumably more ownership of the next sequel, he has to give more consideration to who is writing the screenplay. Otherwise, descriptions of this franchise will counter Sam Flynn's bland description of the sun: "Dull...shallow. Forgettable."