Last week, on the occasion of The Tourist’s release, we assembled critics’ craziest descriptions of Angelina Jolie. This week, we fully intended to get classier, moving past physiques and rounding up descriptions of Tron: Legacy’s special effects. (The winner, in a walk: “Ninja Vegas? Black Mass at Best Buy? Mummenschanz Goes Electric Boogaloo?”) Alas, after getting momentarily distracted by quips about Michael Sheen’s mostly well-received appearance in the film (“albino David Bowie,” “Michael Sheen in Al Sharpton hair” “swanning around like Annie Lennox lost in space“), we were forced to face Jeff Bridges’s face. Well not Jeff Bridges’s face exactly, but the CGI version of his face Tron: Legacy trots out to make Bridges look like Clu, a much younger, despotic, 33-year-old computer program. While some critics didn’t think the effects were so bad, others thought Madame Tussauds, Botox, and The Polar Express.
Let’s round ‘em up!
• “Clu is ageless, and looks like a rubber-faced Madame Tussaud replica of the 1982 Bridges“—Salon
• “His father is still alive, though a virtual prisoner in a matrix run by his evil twin Clu, an insidious program played by a digitally re-created 1980s Jeff Bridges who looks like a product of Madame Tussauds CGI Museum.” —New York Post
• “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.” —New York Times
• “In his rubbery Botox-android way, [Clu’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.” —EW
• “He looks just like young Bridges if young Bridges had had way too much plastic surgery, so it’s hard to take him seriously. Clu seems more like an unfortunate Botox victim than a dastardly despot.” —Time
• “Regarding Bridges’ digital de-aging: It’s creepy. It’s a little less creepy on Clu’s face (he’s not human, anyway) than on Kevin’s in a scene from 1989, but on either of them it has the waxen look of storefront mannequins - or over-Botoxed socialites.” —Houston Chronicle
• “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.” —Toronto Star
• “The latter is heavy and grizzled, the former is fit and digitally reupholstered like Tom Hanks’s train conductor in The Polar Express. It’s Crazy Heart’ Bridges versus Starman.” —Boston Globe