Tron Legacy Review.
This will be likely one of the few, if only film reviews I will do on here (though I did mention Scott Pilgrim last Summer), but due to its video game themed nature, it’s still appropriate content for this blog.
Let’s go back to 1982. 6 year old me was in a movie theater in Pensacola, Florida watching Tron with his Dad. I was amazed that this “world” existed inside the computer, and often felt bad for killing scores of digital warriors in my Atari and arcade games.
Fast forward in 1995. I had just entered the gaming industry in no small part to my love of this film. It’s where I purchased the Tron arcade machine. Not at first, mind you. I lost a sale to the local community college, but I was able to recover it when they sent it back. Good fortune or destiny, I owned the machine at last.
I’ve never forgotten Tron. Sure, it has its slow moments in the film, but the visuals continue to amaze me, and I still love the concept. In 2008, they announced a sequel, and for two years, I waited, with only ElecTRONica to curb that waiting hunger. Tonight, the wait was over.
Understand that this is a proper sequel, set an astounding 28 years after the original. The story tells of a young Sam Flynn, “orphaned” when the original Flynn goes missing for over 20 years. What happens? A lot.
The worst part about modern movies is that you don’t get everything anymore. To get the full story, there’s always books, comics or even video games to fill in the blanks. I’m not a big fan of this, having to go on a “scavenger hunt” of sorts to figure out fully what’s going on. It’s not a killer for Tron Legacy. You can get away with not collecting all the side things, or in some ways, not seeing the original film. But I was wanting to know more about the “in-between” years of Flynn, Tron and Clu, and those who have seen the original film are well rewarded with a ton of nods.
The orignal Tron was snubbed by the Academy back in the day. E.T. won out over the film, and many critics were unfamiliar with and felt the usage of CG graphics in a film was “cheating”. How far we’ve come now. But it was a remarkable visual feast in 1982, and the 2010 iteration still generates some genuine “Wow” moments.
Digital Jeff Bridges is unique. There’s something very cool about seeing him, but there’s also that “uncanny valley” thing that just can’t capture the essence of human life in the eyes. It works for Clu as he’s a program, but a young Flynn…. We’re just not there yet.
There’s updates to the Game Grid and the vehicles. There’s some non CG eye candy with Quorra and Gem. The Daft Punk soundtrack is excellent, and this film is engrossing to watch. There’s also a good story in there as well. A philosophical tale of forgotten sons and trying to play “God” in a world that can never be made perfect.
There are some things I would have like to have seen addressed, one handling of a character I wish was done better, and the feeling that a sequel might be imminent if this one actually does alright in the box office. In any case, I’ll snag this on DVD/Blu-Ray the second it becomes available.
I liked Tron Legacy. It’s not going to change my life, but it gave me what I wanted from the sequel: A chance to visit that incredible computer world that I used to imagine about as a child, and throw plastic frisbees at my friends with. I felt that giddy sense of excitement when the movie began, and it never left me throughout. I just wanted to know more.
And yes, there’s still that definite feeling of video games in it. The 1982 film represented its era of gaming well. The 2010 version does the same. The changes feel natural in progression, though back to back the differences are startling. But such is the nature of the industry.
One of the few video game movies that actually worth anything, and 3D is definitely the way to go in seeing this.
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