Dec 19 2010

Movie Review: TRON LEGACY

Published by at 4:11 am under Entertainment,Movies

Greetings Programs!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months (years?) you know that this weekend TRON LEGACY opened.  Disney’s sequel to the movie TRON in which a computer genius is transported to the digital universe and must fight the evil MCP from the inside.  A sequel 28 years in the making.  Yes I was a TRON fan back in the beginning (my wife says I liked TRON before TRON was cool) and I was totally geeked out when this opened.

The Story

TRON LEGACY starts off approximately 7 years after the first movie ends with Kevin Flynn telling the story of his adventures in cyberspace to his son Sam.  Leaving the story at a cliffhanger, Kevin tells Sam he will finish it later and goes to work but instead mysteriously disappears.  Flash forward 20 years, Sam is a rebellious young man bent on hacking ENCOM’s computer system as they oust his father from the Board of Directors.  Sam is then visited by his father’s friend and cohort from the first movie, Alan Bradley, who says he received a page from a phone in the arcade, a phone that has been disconnected for 20 years!  Sam goes to the arcade and flips the power on, launching a barrage of 80’s hits from the jukebox as well as sound effects from video games of days gone by, and finds a hidden room where his father was doing his secret work.   Firing up the computer, Sam is blasted into the cyber-world and, like his father before him,  thrown into “The Games” and must survive and find out exactly what is going on.    Sam must now find a way to save his father and return to the real world.

The Characters / Actors

Kevin Flynn / CLU (Jeff Bridges)

Jeff reprises his role as Kevin Flynn, the creator of this cyber realm.  He also plays the role of CLU, the program he creates to help out building his “paradise” but goes rogue instead.  Bridges does a great job in both of these roles.  As Flynn, he still lives (and speaks) as the same free spirit he was in the original 1982 film.  For the role of CLU, the filmmakers used computer effects to make the 61-year-old Bridges look 33 the age he would have been when CLU was created.

Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund)

Garrett plays Flynn’s son, Sam, who was left behind when his father was trapped in the digital world.  He did a really good job of playing the angst-ridden son who was trying to figure out what to do with his life and why his father abandoned him so many years ago.

Quorra (Olivia Wilde)

Olivia plays a program by the name of Quorra who is an ally of the Flynn’s.  She is better known as 13 on the TV show House but totally leaves that role behind and does this role more than justice.  Wilde does a really good job of playing a program that is agile and knows her way around The Grid but still gets giddy when learning about new things like the world beyond The Grid (“You know Jules Verne!  What’s he like!”)

Alan Bradley / TRON (Bruce Boxleitner)

Bruce reprises his role(s) from the first movie but has very limited screen time.  He is shown as the surrogate father figure to Sam after his own father disappears and is also aged backwards, like Bridges, for the role of TRON.

The Tech

The Light-Cycles are back and upgraded as are the Recognizers and Tanks.  And now there are new tech vehicles for the programs to play with, Planes.  One of the climactic scenes has Flynn, Sam and Quorra in a large flying vehicle with the enemy attacking them in smaller ones.  It reminded me of a B-17 Flying Fortress being attacked in WWII.

My Take

The movie has opened to mixed reviews but I think that it was done very well.  The story stands well by itself and doesn’t require the audience to have seen the first movie in order to understand what is going on.  But to me I think it is better to see the first movie so you will be able to get the little references that LEGACY gives to the predecessor (How many caught the reference to the first flick of the garage that Sam was living in?).  The story shows the bond a father and son have even though they have been separated for many years and the lengths a father will go to for his son.

Now, normally I do not see the 3D versions of movies when they come out because those glasses tend to give me a headache.  But this time, thanks to our local theater, I was forced to see the 3D version because that is the only version they were showing (did they even release the 2D version?)  So, my wife and I swallowed some aspirin and put the glasses on and WOW!  The 3D effects in this film raise the level so much and blend so well you forget they are there and just immerse yourself in the beauty.  Unlike other 3D movies I have seen the filmmakers do not shove the effects down your throat and just let them flow freely.

Movie Rating:

Oh yea and there’s a bonus…. you also get to see the 3D trailer for THOR!  (Sweet!)


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