by Jesus Ibarra
I have been waiting for the sequel to 1982’s Tron since I first heard about it last summer, since then I have been in agony waiting for this film to come out. Seeing the new poster rivaling the old Tron poster sent my nerdism into overdrive.
For a little background, Tron was a sci-fi film starring Jeff Bridges back in 1982 that was actually quite ahead of its time in terms of production and special effects. It failed to make it into mainstream popularity, however it did become a cult favorite for geeks and nerds of all ages. Tron features Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) a highly smart imaginative computer software programmer who gets transported into a virtual world, he must fight his way through the world to get back to the real world, and at the same time clear his name taking his company ENCOM back.
Tron: Legacy starts five years after Kevin’s discovery during which time he builds The Grid: a virtual world with programs that live in it. However, in 1989 he disappears leaving his only son Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) alone and his company ENCOM in disarray. No one hears from him and most of the public assume he’s run away from his responsibilities as a father and CEO, leaving Sam distraught. Sam now twenty-seven, lives haunted by his father’s disappearance and the direction in which ENCOM has gone, when one night Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), fans will know him from the first film as Kevin’s best friend, and the titular character Tron, a board member on ENCOM, tells Sam that he was paged from his father’s old lab/office/arcade. Of course, Sam investigates and fans will also recognize the arcade from the first movie. Sam also being somewhat tech savvy, manages to get himself sucked into The Grid which has evolved tremendously in the last twenty years (which equals about thousand years in The Grid world).
The movie then follows Sam as he realizes what this world is and must fight his way to survive. He is saved by a program Quorra (Olivia Wilde) who takes him to his father Kevin. Kevin proceeds to explain that Clu, a program he built in his own image to create the perfect system, along with Tron, brought over from the previous system, built the origins of The Grid. Eventually Clu betrayed Kevin by killing Tron and forced him to go on the run. Clu has become a dictator turning The Grid into a deadly place. Now the trio must get out of the Grid and stop Clu before he completes his ultimate plan.
There is obviously more to the plot but that gives away too much of the movie for my taste, but this movie had it all. Now I have read some reviews saying the special effects, the redesign to a sleeker more modern look, is amazing but that the acting, plot, and dialogue wasn’t at all great, I completely disagree. First the actors did an amazing job of portraying their characters. Jeff Bridges shined in this movie in dual roles as Clu with the help of special of effects to make him look younger, and as Kevin Flynn, an idealistic man from a time where he dreamed to change the world, portraying an ideal that I think has been lost in 2010. Just hearing him speak as Kevin made me feel much more self aware of my cynicism and jadedness. Garret Hedlund and Olivia Wilde also gave solid performances but I think Jeff Bridges stole the whole movie, which I guess being the Dude and winning an Oscar last year isn’t a big surprise. Secondly, the plot is entirely acceptable I’m surprised they managed to fit so much in, which not only appealed to the fans of the original but fans of this type of movie. Finally, the dialogue was as good as it could get, what else can be said in a situation where you’re trapped in a virtual world.
Objectively I say that this was a very good movie, with amazing special effects and a great story which not only delights old fans but also raises some interesting questions (there is a scene in the film where Sam tells Kevin about the state of our world oddly, very sobering). There is actually a story to be explored, which is good considering it’s a sequel. Now as a nerd and sci-fi enthusiast, OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS MOVIE! As a major fan of the old one I knew it was my duty to go to the midnight showing in IMAX 3D, and I was not disappointed. Light cycles, Disc battles, sleek Tron suits, and a score by Daft Punk made this movie extra amazing. What made this movie even better was that it actually has something to say, it’s not just catered to us Tron fans (well sort of but not all of it), and that is worth watching I say. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take another thirty years to make the next Tron film but who am I kidding I would still go see it.
Tron: Legacy is now playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.