Tron Legacy – The original Red vs. Blue [SPOILERS]

ORIGINALLY POSTED 18 DECEMBER 2010

Joseph Kosinski’s massively hyped sequel to the 80’s sci-fi classic, TRON LEGACY dropped this weekend, which you already know because you have a connection to the internet. Spoilers ahead, so don’t read further if you care.

SYNOPSIS
Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) disappears from his son’s life shortly after the original Tron story concludes, sending the kid into a typical Hollywood spiral of self destructive angst, and leaving his technology company ENCOM to the greedy clutches of the also-typical selfish board of directors who use Flynn’s philanthropic success as a spring board to shank the working man. Flynn’s son, Sam, is summoned to the old arcade and gets zapped into the grid where he engages in the classic Tron escapades of disc fights and scootin’ around on a light bike, meets a hot Tron babe, confronts his dad, and punches lots of red dudes.

LIKED

  • Even though the score was taking some pretty obvious liberties with Hans Zimmer’s style (The Dark Knight, Inception), the music for the film was fantastic and a huge asset in pulling the viewer into the film. I’m not a soundtrack buying kind of guy, but I will purchase the Tron soundtrack. This is the kind of shit Gary Numan should be doing now, but instead he’s acting out a goth rock fantasy with a bunch of British pretty boys.
  • Jeff Bridges is always a treat, and he does not disappoint. The movie gets big points for writing him as a pacifistic ex-hippy type who was just trying to create his own little paradise that got out of control before he could stop it. He had some awesome lines like “You’re really messing with my Zen thing, man.” Out of context that may sound lame… Only Jeffrey Lebowski could pull it off.
  • Visual effects were very good, which is expected, but also very unique. The art direction definitely set the film apart from most contemporary effects-heavy sci fi movies, and at the same time maintained the aesthetic of the original film.
  • Reminded me of Mass Effect. 🙂
  • Father-son relations in Hollywood are often over-dramatized and forced down an audience’s throat. While it was a big aspect of the film, it was tastefully left as a background plot device. There was no dad rage, there was no purging of angst, there was no over long tearful “I love you dad! I love you son!” garbage.
  • Olivia Wilde in a Tron suit. Sweeeeeeeet.

DISLIKED

  • Sam Flynn’s witty one liners were out of place and a tired method of comic relief in movies these days.
  • CGI Jeff Bridges would have been good for a video game, but side by side with real actors faces it only just misses the mark.
  • The plot is very A-B-C. I had a pretty good idea of how the movie would play out from the previews alone, and I was exactly right.
  • Michael Sheen plays a particularly annoying “David Bowie if he was in Clockwork Orange” character that the film could have done completely without.
  • While I praise the effects, the whole movie slightly lacks the character and originality of the first film. Watching the original Tron you feel completely engrossed in a fully realized alien world. Legacy slightly misses some of the subtleties that made the first one so compelling.
  • SPOILER: The fact that Quorra’s character survived and magically became a person at the end of the movie was not a surprise, but I feel like she would have carried much more significance if her character was merely data in the real world, that Flynn would then use to further his father’s philanthropical vision for technology. Of course, Sam would be hella bummed if he didn’t get to make sweet sweet love IRL, but I thought it would be a more impactful ending. Also, that girl is totally going to freak out the first time she takes a dump.

WORTH IT?
Yes, 100% yes. Go see this movie in the theater, as that is where it shines. Any gripes you may have are completely washed away in the fantastic sci-fi landscape and dark, atmospheric score. Bridges is solid as usual. I also highly recommend that anyone with a son in the 8-12 age range take them, it will blow their mind.

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About Jon

Videogames / D&D / horror movies / metal / marine biology / sci-fi novels and film / comics. My sin of choice is sloth.