TRON Legacy – Review
Disney has spent the last three years dumping tons of cash into a sequel to a film with an incredibly small fan base. They handed the picture over to people who made a film specifically for those few fans of the original film and hoped that it would please the masses. I don’t know if the majority of the people will enjoy Tron Legacy, but as a fan of the original, i loved it!
Ever since they talked about making a sequel to Tron, i always thought that it would be a good idea. I feel that, even though the computer generated effects were primitive, Tron was ahead of its time. I know that is a pretty easy statement to throw around these days, but i truly believe it. As a kid i watched Tron for Lightcycles, Recognizers and Disc Battles. It wasn’t until i was older did i understand the concepts behind the movie. I still watch the original Tron on a regular basis and learn something new each time. I understand that the movie is considered cheesy by today’s standards and fully understand why Disney did not release the Bluray of it prior to the release of Tron Legacy, but i have a feeling that when it comes out it may get an all new respect that wasn’t there when it came out in 1982. You have to realize, Tron flopped big time when it was originally released and it is amazing that they would attempt a big budget sequel 28 years later. I don’t know if it is the video game or 3D movie craze, but i am glad they made it, because i enjoyed this film from start to finish.
The opening of the film is brilliant! I really enjoyed that the movie begins with the forming of “The Grid” and then slowly transforms into a city skyline. The reason i dug this so much was because in the original Tron, the last shot of the movie was of the city skyline from the POV of the Encom building as it slowly transformed into “The Grid”. It was it was like telling the fans, that we are right where we left off. The first 15 minutes or so takes place in “The Real World”, it was here where there are a lot of nods to the original movie. From Ed Dillinger Jr. to Dumont’s Shipping and the “Now that is a big door” quote from the original, this movie really felt like it was made just for the fans. I was actually really nervous for my wife. She is not a fan of the original Tron at all, but as it turns out she was entertained thoroughly as well. The story was a bit complex, a bit preachy and a whole lot of fun. It was exactly what a Tron sequel should have been.
A lot of people may complain that it is not as action packed as they had hoped, but as i watched the movie i couldn’t helped but be sucked into the Sci Fi of the film. There is a lot of shitty science fiction films out there and seeing this movie in IMAX 3d with a crowd full of people and surrounded by friends and family, it made me feel like a big kid, watching other big kids playing with toys. This is my favorite kind of science fiction. I love space ships, technobabble, fantasy and other worlds. As i watched the film, i was engrossed by the technology. I loved seeing how everything worked. I liked watching the wheels spinning on the freight container loading machines. I loved watching the Recognizers collapse so that people could board the crafts. I loved watching everything move around. It was really a treat for me to be immersed in this world and IMAX 3d was the best way to appreciate this.
Not only the technology that was used in the world created, but i was pretty impressed with the technology used to create this world. The visual effects in Tron Legacy are in your face. It is the first thing you notice as soon as you see any commercial or trailer. This movie looks unlike anything else i have seen before, but what is great is that, with all the flash, the characters are not lost in the backgrounds. I liked all the characters in the film. Garret Hedlund’s “Sam Flynn”, Michael Sheen’s Ziggy Stardust inspired “Castor” and Bruce Boxleitner’s Alan Bradley are stand out in the film. I liked all of their performances, but the stand outs in the film were Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde.
Olivia Wilde’s “Quorra” was great! I have never seen anything she has been in, but i thought she did a great job at playing innocent. She was funny, strong, but voulnerable all at the same time. I have a feeling that there will be a lot of girls out there dressed as Quorra at Comic Conventions and Halloween for years to come.
And then there’s Jeff Bridges. Jeff Bridges returns the computer genius and mad scientist Kevin Flynn. He created this world that he wanted to be perfect, and in the process he created a monster that will stop at nothing to rectify any impurity IN that world. “Clu”. As you have seen from the trailer, Clu is a program created by Kevin Flynn in his own likeness. Clu will stop at nothing to make The Grid a perfect place to live. He will stop at nothing to to clean up The Grid. When Sam opens the portal to The Grid, Clu launches an all out attack that is on a collision course with the real world. It is up to Kevin, Sam and Quorra to stop him from entering into our world.
Clu looks amazing as a program. I really thought he looked cool. When you see it in IMAX and 3d at the same time, you notice all of the flaws in the animation, but i was able to forgive this because Clu is an artificial program, he isn’t supposed to be photo real, but the problem comes when they flashback to Kevin Flynn being young and he looks just like Clu. It is hard to forgive the CGI when young Kevin Flynn should be photo realistic. I am sure when i watch it on my television at home, i wont notice the animation as much as i did when Kevin Flynn’s CG head was 5 stories tall. It is a minor gripe, but it was a bit distracting. Whenever Clu or young Kevin Flynn was onscreen, you couldn’t help but want to scrutinize the CGI.
As much as i loved the movie there were two minor things that left me scratching my head. The first was Sam Flynn’s spare Lightcycle baton. They made it a point to show that he acquired it and in any video game scenario, you want to keep running tabs on your inventory for later use. Not once did Sam use his backup Lightcycle baton and it’s not something that would be brought up in any kind of sequel. Not only did he not use this baton, but he later used Kevin’s Mark 2 Lightcycle which was eventually traced back to Kevin Flynn’s secret hideout. I understand that Sam wasn’t able to use that style of Lightcycle off grid, as stated by Quorra, but why have him pick it up in the first place unless you are going to use it later?
The second minor thing that bugged me was the reveal of Rinzler as Tron. Us Tron fans figured out about who Rinzler was a while ago, but for a badass villain that you have cloaked with a black faceplate the whole time, you would think that the reveal of this character would be to reveal his true identity, especially when he says his famous line from the first film, “I fight for the users!” It made zero sense to me. Based on flashbacks, we have already seen that the producers of the film had created a de-aged CGI version of Bruce Boxleitner. Why on Earth would you not pull back that mask as he said that line? It would have been perfect!!
Other than those few things, i loved the movie. I thought that Daft Punk’s score was amazing and am anxiously waiting for them to release an album of the complete score. There was a lot of music in there that wasn’t in the movie and i want it all! Tron Legacy may not be for everyone, in fact it may not be for the majority of people, but for a Tron fan like me, it is an incredibly sequel that I’m glad was made. Sure, the goal is for Disney to have all the money on the planet, but i am glad that they did not sacrifice the legacy of Tron just to make some quick cash. This was a movie made by Tron fans, for Tron fans.
End of Line.
★ ★ ★ ★¾