Critical Consensus: Jeff Bridges’ Face Is Creepy in Tron: Legacy

After three years of hype (and almost 30 years since the original), Tron: Legacy, the sequel to the sci-fi classic about a hacker who gets sucked into a computer world, is finally in theaters, with both Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges reprising their original roles. While the reviews are mixed, there are a few things that most critics agree on: the Daft Punk soundtrack is amazing; the digital-age decor is stunning (and according to Roger Ebert, possibly best viewed while stoned); and Jeff Bridges in a younger CG form is probably the creepiest thing you’ll see all year. In fact, more than one person used the word “creepy” or a variation thereof, in their review. Check out our roundup after the jump.

“Mr. Bridges mostly amuses by throwing a little Lebowski into his performance as the older Kevin, which partly makes up for the creepiness of his computer-enhanced turn as both the younger Kevin and the rebellious program Clu. This youthful version was achieved by digitally translating the actor’s facial movements into data for a simulacrum that here looks like an animated death mask. ” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“Via flashback to 1989, with Bridges appearing in a younger CG form that’s conspicuously odd and creepy, Tron: Legacy establishes that Bridges has been gone for 20 years, leaving his son with a large share of ENCOM International, now a Microsoft-like software giant.” – via AV Club

“Kevin has aged on schedule in his digital purgatory, and looks like 60ish Jeff Bridges, but Clu is ageless, and looks like a rubber-faced Madame Tussaud replica of the 1982 Bridges. (And I have to say: Bridges is one of those magical Paul Newman dudes who seems to look better and better in late middle age.) Sure, the contrast is supposed to be striking, but I think director Joseph Kosinski and his vast special-effects crew are going for a certain flavor of weird-cool-creepy, when what they wind up with is more like get-me-out-of-here icky.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

“Clu, a major reboot from the TRON original, is made from Photoshopping the recreated face of a 30-something Bridges onto the body of a younger actor. The effect is simultaneously creepy and awe-inspiring and the same can be said of the look of the picture.” – Peter Howell, Toronto Star

“In his rubbery Botox-android way, he’s creepy to look at (and he makes you wonder if this will be the future for aging movie stars), but there isn’t much to Clu besides his telegenic blank stare.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly