TRON: Legacy

End of Line or Disc full?

A long time ago, in the early 80’s, I was a child when I was introduced to the world of TRON. At a young age, I collected all the TRON figures and toys I could. I even wrote to Santa to bring me toys that didn’t exist. As I grew older, I must’ve bought TRON on almost every media available; watching every behind the scenes featurette I could. So, in July 2009, when a visual effects concept test for TRON LEGACY was released I have to admit, my first reaction was one of trepidation. After I watched the test, it gave me hope but I still was nervous about how they might screw it up. A year later, the official trailer was released. At that point, I was lost in flood of computer geek fanboy overload. With movies like that, I sequestered myself from all advertisements, as I didn’t want to end up seeing the whole movie in the trailers. With all that in mind, I’m doing my best to remain objective, as well as not spoil anything.

For those not familiar, TRON was about a programmer who got sucked into a world within a computer system. Directed by Steven Lisberger (TRON being his only big hit), the movie starred Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner and David Warner. in TRON LEGACY, both Mr. Bridges and Mr. Boxleitner both reprise their roles, as well as Mr. Lisberger producing instead directing. Thankfully this trio was committed to making the film as loyal and honorable to the first film as possible, while upgrading it for today’s audiences. New to the franchise is Garrett Hedlund who plays Sam Flynn (son of Kevin Flynn [Bridges]) and Oliva Wilde who plays Quorra (a companion to Kevin Flynn in the computer world). While only barely part of the cast, the film’s superb soundtrack/score is by French electronic music duo Daft Punk. Definitely would recommend picking it up as well.

And upgrade they did. From the flying enemy vehicles called Recognizers to the new Lightcylces, the fresh designs are incredible. Even the light trails from the vehicles have been improved upon. The entire Art Direction of the world of TRON has been wonderfully modernized while remaining true to the original. Included in this upgrade are the visual effects. As one would expect in the world of a computer, CG visual effects are expected. However the filmmakers felt they need to push the envelope just a bit more. Similar to how it was done in CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, they used computerized visual effects to make Mr.Bridges look 25 years younger. This was both for a flashback in the beginning of the film (as seen in the trailer), but as well to play the character, Clu. Unfortunately, while it looked flawless in CCoBB, in TRON it seemed a bit unsettling or creepy. Now that might’ve been the goal for Clu, but in the flashback it’s the same effect. This is the ONLY thing I have to complain about the movie.

Much like the original, many are complaining that the plot is weak or non-existent. I have to disagree. The main plot of the movie is about getting back to the real world. The computer world is so vast and new, to explain so much about it would’ve extended the movie to probably over 3 hours. As Disney is known for pleasing everyone, right down to the lowest common denominator movie goer, clocking the movie in a 2 hours was risk in itself. Personally, I thought the story and the pace were adequate, but the big thing about the film is the return to a world that we’ve wanted to return to for 25 years.

TRON LEGACY is the film for the TRON fanboy. The movie is laced with so many references to the to original film’s lines and characters, it was difficult not to love. Even if you’re not a fan of the film from the 80’s, any sci-fi fan will love this.

NOTE REGARDING SEEING THE MOVIE IN 3D: The best thing in “3D” was the TRON-ized version of the Disney logo, otherwise, there isn’t really anything special to see in “3D”.

Todd Lipska

Todd’s geekiness started off early with his family’s first computer: a TRS-80. As a contributing writer, head photographer, lead programmer and one of the founders of Media Geeks, well, suffice it to say, he’s a busy guy.

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