Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tron: Movie Review

Since the christmas break has officially begun I can't really say that I don't have time to blog. So, to start things off I figured I'd get back to my roots and do a movie review.

For those of you who have not partaken of the visual/campy ecstasy that is Disney's Tron (the old one) all you really need to know is that computer wiz-kid Kevin Flynn gets pulled into a cyber world where programs are personified and attempts to bring down the evil Master Control program that has turned the digital world into his own serf-filled empire. On the way Flynn participates in some gladiator-esque games, rides around on a light cycle and enlists the help of a program named Tron whose sole purpose is to fight for the "users" (digital lingo for human beings).

The film (made in 1982) was a failure of colossal proportions (think: Gigli) and in time thanks to the advent of kids on pot and fanboys obsessions with all things trippy, the movie has gained a mass following of cult fans (a la Tremors).

Which brings us to 2010 and Tron Legacy.


We find Sam Flynn (son of Kevin) essentially orphaned (his father vanished some 17 years earlier) and enjoying the simple life while raking in the benefits of being majority shareholder of his father's company without the responsibility of having to actually run the thing. After a mysterious page from Daddy's abandoned arcade, Sam goes a snooping and gets (you guessed it) miraculously pulled into a digital world where programs are personified. It doesn't take long before he's picked up by the program authorities and (wouldn't you know it) forced to participate in gladiator-style games. Turns out the new boss in town is a program named CLU, made in the image of Sam's father, who as it turns out, was trapped in the digital world years earlier by CLU, and now father and son must work together with the help of the ludicrously attractive Oliva Wilde, a program that Kevin has taken under his wing, to stop CLU from dastardly plans and return to the real world.

Tron Legacy is, simultaneously, sequel and remake to Tron. While the story line has been cronologically extended to fall in a narrative line. The basic plot structure and development mirror the first film in all-too-familiar ways. Man enters world, plays gladiator games, joins up with help on the inside, hops aboard a weird train/umbrella transport thing and comes to a climatic close at vertical pillar of light with man holding his magic frisbee up in the air. They are essentially the same movie, only the new version has the digital advantages of today to make up for the weaknesses of the first film. Instead of some laughable comic book feel, the sight and sound of Tron Legacy is an absolute delight, one that (for me) made up for the weak storyline.

In the end, this movie was exactly what I expected. Many in my group vehemently detested this film but I walked away entertained and look forward to what this series will do after Tron Legacy makes its expected millions. In an ideal world, I would have loved a little more inception-esque head scratching that this digital world could potentially provide, but I was satisified with the high octane cg-feast to the smooth pump of Daft Punk. It may have run a little long in some scenes, but Tron Legacy is escapism film at its purest, taking you to a whole new world and filling it with beautiful things. B


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