This should have been a match made in disco heaven. Tron: Legacy is the sequel to a movie about a man trapped in a 1980s video game. Daft Punk — the vocoder-crazed, spacesuit-clad French electro duo — have always seemed like musicians trapped in a 1980s video game. Whether Daft Punk have created a worthy soundtrack is for filmgoers to decide. As for the album they’ve made — it’s so-so mood music, full of dramatic, string-suffused sounds that are sometimes moving and sometimes just there. Daft Punk cut much of Tron: Legacy in London with a 100-piece orchestra. Far too often, the strings just hold one chord amid electronic noodling, though on “The Game Has Changed,” they swell and flutter alongside acid-damaged synths and digital thuds, suggesting a particularly suspenseful Radiohead track.
What’s really missing on Tron: Legacy is groove. There are glimpses of the party-starting robots we’ve come to love: The sleekly digital “End of the Line” sounds like 21st-century Kraftwerk, and “Derezzed” is a pounding house track with synth squeals that recall Daft Punk’s 1996 dance-floor classic “Da Funk.” But that’s about it as far as rhythm is concerned. Tron: Legacy is way more Hans Zimmer than Homework.