So once again we have survived.

TRON Legacy

tn_tronlegacyRemember TRON? The 1982 live action Disney fantasy from director Steven Lisberger (ANIMALYMPICS, HOT PURSUIT) about a dude magically sucked into a video game to play frisbee and ride bikes? It’s memorable for its only-in-1982 approach to design, its one-of-a-kind black light type look, its pioneering computer effects (which still look surprisingly cool today) and a weird electronical score by Wendy Carlos (A CLOCKWORK ORANGE). The only major problem I have with it besides it being boring is the entire silly premise of a guy going inside a computer and the “programs” are alive and they battle each other.

Believe me, I’m a man who knows how to suspend the ol’ disbelief. I suspend that shit all the time. I’m about this close to banning it for life. But Jeff Bridges getting shrunk and playing games with tiny neon people who live in a city inside a computer chip is just not compatible with my brain, in my opinion.

And besides, if video games are gonna come to life then why don’t you put Pac-Man in there? I’d like to hear what Pac-Man has to say for himself.

Although a moderate success in its time, TRON has not generally received the same attention and replay as many of the other movies released in 1982, including but not limited to BLADE RUNNER, CONAN THE BARBARIAN, E.T. IS THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, FIRST BLOOD, POLTERGEIST, PORKY’S and THE THING (in my household I could also throw in 48 HOURS, BASKET CASE, THE BEASTMASTER, CLASS OF 1984, DEATH WISH II, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III, RICHARD PRYOR LIVE ON THE SUNSET STRIP and of course WHITE DOG).

So I never gave the thing much thought, but a couple years ago, when they showed some test-movie called “TR2N” at San Diego’s Comics Con and started talking about a sequel, my internetting colleagues all flipped their wigs and popped boners like somebody’d sent them a Special 4-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray of Scott Pilgrim and Kick-Ass running a train on Prince Leia In Slave Outfit. Until then I honestly had no idea there were people who still had a thing for TRON. I know on the internet you can find people who are into just about any freaky shit anybody ever came up with, but jesus – TRON? Well, at least it’s a unique movie. I get that more than if it was KRULL.

mp_tronlegacyThe fans are out there in the hundreds or even one thousands, and this new latecomer sequel TRON: LEGACY has the specific tastes and obsessions of those individuals dead in its laser sights. It’s designed as an ultimate fantasy fulfillment for computer and sci-fi nerds born in the ’70s. Not only is it a sequel that reminds them of their childhood and playing video games and shit, but the hero Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund, DEATH SENTENCE) is portrayed as a kid who grows up playing TRON video games and playing with TRON action figures. The first time he gets attacked he doesn’t get scared, he gets excited that “I have a three inch version of you on my shelf!”

His dad Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is the other main character, and he’s an arcade owner/game designer turned godlike superbeing inside a computer. Also in this computer world there are only 5 girls, but all of them are super hot and put their hands all over Sam.

So those are pretty good reasons to want to be Sam. He’s also rich, doesn’t have to work, and might be part ninja. Have you noticed how many movie heroes now days are super-rich, tax-cut-ready orphan sons of privilege who fucked around and neglected their business empires most of their lives, but then suddenly had an epiphany and fought bad guys? I guess with Batman the fucking around is just an act, but that description covers Iron Man, Green Hornet and now Sam Flynn.

Then again, this kid might’ve been travelling around the world training like Batman did. He’s expert in high speed motorcycle chase, security system hacking, camera evasion, stealth, balance, car-roof-riding and skyscraper base jumping. He can do all these things in real life, so he’ll do them well inside a computer (the reverse of the ol’ “I learned it from Playstation!” joke; see xXx, SNAKES ON A PLANE, et al).

Like the original TRON, part 2 has some intrigue going on within this computer company called Encom. Sam is majority shareholder but instead of attending meetings he breaks in, steals their new operating system and posts it online for free, to show that he has his dad’s cyberhippie anti-capitalist philosophy. I’m okay with this corniness, but could do without the bad guy executives going POLICE ACADEMY broad when they panic and don’t know what to do and start frantically pushing buttons.

Soon Sam finds his dad’s secret laboratory. He tries to get into his files and accidentally lasers himself into Trontropolis, where dad mysteriously disappeared to in 1989. I figured that was what happened in part 1, but according to my research he was not in the computer at the end of part 1. But nobody has to know because the DVD is out of print.

Everybody I know hates that Pixar movie CARS, they can’t get past this “world where there are no humans, but cars are alive” premise. Why does a car go through a metal detector? What are they searching him for? Well, yeah, that’s the joke. It’s supposed to be absurd. But the world of TRON is presented as science fiction – not real, but plausible within its own reality, right? I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be.

I guess you gotta look at it more like Alice in Wonderland than like a sci-fi story. Alice in Wonderland is “what if the Queen of Hearts was a real person, and the other cards in the deck were alive too and they were her soldiers?” And TRON is “what if you were inside a computer, and the programs in the computer were people, and the people who use computers would be their idea of God?” You gotta see it as a fairy tale or a dream, not something that, like, makes sense at all, or has logic to it. That’s the only way to play along, but I don’t got it in me I guess.

‘Cause if you allow your brain to operate during the movie it’s gonna start giving you a bunch of error messages. You’re gonna start getting a strong suspicion that none of this shit makes any sense at all. It might’ve been cute in 1982 when we didn’t have computers in our homes and pockets, and they seemed like magic wizardry, but ten or more years has passed since then (check math later) and I think if they were gonna revisit this material they probly should’ve found a way to rework it so it seemed like it made some kind of sense.

In modern versions of this type of story, like THE MATRIX, INCEPTION or even you could argue AVATAR, the physical body stays in one place while remote-controlling a surrogate (a genetically engineered blue cat person, a dream-self, a kung fu dude in a trenchcoat) within the other world (an actual jungle planet, a computer-simulation of the world, a dream). In the TRON movies though it’s not remote control – the fucking people get zapped into the fucking computer. I think.

How are we supposed to take this? Are they still made of cells? Are the streets paved with silicon? Inside “the Grid” Kevin Flynn ages, Sam Flynn bleeds, at the end (SPOILER) at least one of them gets out. It definitely doesn’t seem like their bodies got disintegrated, or that their consciousnesses were reconstituted digitally within a virtual world. It seems like they are literally supposed to be shrunk down into tiny little people who live in a city inside a computer chip. But that can’t seriously be what they mean, can it?

The Flynns are called “users”, everybody else is “programs,” they’re not made of flesh and blood. When programs get killed they explode into 3-dimensional pixel cubes. When they’re injured they have jagged pixel scars. So that means they’re computer graphics, right? Microscopic computer graphics? On a tiny little screen inside a computer chip that some tiny flesh and blood people also live in?

Flynn Sr., by the way, still eats food. He has peas and a nice roasted pig. Does this mean there are plants and animals in Trontropolis? Is there soil? Is there weather? Or do tiny people eat computer graphics? I’d like to think the flesh and blood users eat flesh and blood food. If so that means there are Tron pigs. Somebody lasered a pair of pigs into the computer, mated them, now they raise Tron pigs in little glowy pig leotards, then butcher them with neon hammers.

I guess my main question about the movie is, whuh?

This type of basic shit is never explained, and probly can’t be. But everything else about the world is explained, sometimes visually through exciting action scenes (Sam is forced to have frisbee fights and motorcycle battles like in part 1), sometimes through long explanations (various stories that might be about what happened in part 1 but I think are actually what happened between parts 1 and 2). Obviously he gets reunited with his dad, and there’s a hot young girl involved (is this my new mommy?). Their quest is to get to “the portal” so they can get out of the computer, but also they gotta stop Kevin Flynn’s younger computer doppelganger Clu from getting to the portal because he wants to enter the real world and destroy all the “imperfections,” such as the leaning tower of Pisa, that really crooked street in San Fransisco, people with disabilities, and this websight. Our quest, as viewers, is to not question how pixel people inside a computer chip can take corporeal form, because that makes an already ridiculous story seem twice as bad.

The movie is a little long for the amount of things that happen in it, and there’s not a whole lot of momentum to it. There are good moments, though, and some laughs. Bridges lets alot of The Dude through, like when he refers to some program he created as “biodigital jazz, man!”

I sort of got a kick out of the multiple uses of the old cliche of “guy with helmet covering face takes off helmet to reveal – oh shit – it’s so-and-so!” And I especially like the ol’ “he takes off his helmet, wait a minute– it’s a girl!” because usually you just see the girl from the back and then the hair falls down, in this version they give her an electronically deepened voice even though there’s no reason to hide her gender.

(on second thought, Princess Leia did that trick shortly before donning the aforementioned Slave Outfit. But this girl doesn’t get caught.)

Clu is kind of a cool idea for a villain, and at the end has a an almost touching scene with Bridges (I bet that’s the part Pixar suggested). But since he’s a CGI version of a young Bridges (or iBridges) I was constantly distracted by his dead POLAR EXPRESS eyes. As much as the computer technology has advanced since 1982 we’re still not to the point of being able to simulate Jeff Bridges’ eyes. Maybe Beau Bridges. Maybe Robert Hayes (who took over the role of STARMAN in the Tv series). Maybe even Jeff before he got the Oscar for CRAZY HEART. But for now it doesn’t work.

(It seemed like Zemeckis and Cameron both licked that eye problem in A CHRISTMAS CAROL and AVATAR respectively, but maybe if they had to do regular Jim Carrey or Sam Worthington they might’ve bungled it too. At any rate the TRON people didn’t quite pull it off.)

Also there’s a couple annoying characters that I was hoping to die sooner, especially Michael Sheen’s obnoxious club owner Castor, who thinks he’s Joel Grey or Willy Wonka or somebody, and every time they cut back to him he’s doing a little dance move or spinning his cane again.

But oh shit, do I sense a plot twist coming up? Despite these and many other major flaws, and because of these low expectations, I have to admit that I really enjoyed this movie. Not trying for shock value or contrarian points, just doing my duty and telling the God’s honest truth: this stupid fucking thing was a great movie-going experience.

I blame Daft Punk. Those are the two guys in robot masks, I’m not all that familiar with their music, but they did the score. They created a driving, hypnotic, sometimes completely bombastic score that makes the movie about three times better than it would be without it. They worked with a full orchestra I think, but are mainly using electronical sounds, deep subsonic vibrations, with hints of John Carpenter, Philip Glass and their own style of dance music. Even before it’s in the computer world you hear these how-could-this-really-be-2010 keyboard riffs… it’s good shit. And combined with generally great sound design and the Cinerama in Seattle’s system turned up real loud it almost felt like watching the music performed live. At times I could feel it on my skin and vibrating in my ribcage.

The movie is at its best when it abandons words for nothing but image and abstract sound. The action scenes, which include gladiatorial disc fights, “light cycles” and a couple chases and battles with the bad guy programs, are very exciting and weird. They combine the unique rules I sort of remember from the first one, for example, everywhere you drive with your lightcycle it leaves a solid trail, so you try to trap your opponent into crashing into that trail. That original scene still holds up as exciting, but now, no longer limited in what they can animate, they’re able to expand on it.

Great use of 3-D, too. I assume it was shot 3-D and not post-converted, because it looked really good. And using 2-D for most of the real world and 3-D for inside the computer is a nice WIZARD OF OZy gimmick to make the other place feel like it heightens your senses. This phony reality is built with layer upon layer of great art design, ’80s retro combined with futuristic sleekness, crude video displays and deliberate abstraction. It’s a world of Mac smoothness, glass surfaces, armies of men in identical, shiny armor hidden behind faceless, tinted masks and computer distorted voices, if they even talk at all.

I like it when the movie’s just being weird and asking you to go with it. Like the scene where machines on the walls open up to expel 4 gorgeous women who all walk toward Sam, their high heels perfectly in-synch and creating a beat. They strip him with lasers, give him computer armor, then perfectly walk backwards, back into their pods.

(This might damage my hard-earned reputation as a gentleman, but I have to admit I kept wondering why this kid didn’t make a move on any of these Tron ladies. They’re outnumbered by the men but it’s like EYES WIDE SHUT where they all look impossibly beautiful and glamorous. The one that lives with his dad [a mix of THE MATRIX’s Trinity and BLADE RUNNER’s Pris] might seem too much like a sister, or like a pet [she refers to herself as “a rescue”, like his dog at home]. But I still think he should’ve gone for it. What happens on the Grid stays on the Grid, I bet.)

It’s corny, but when the filmatism is really smokin on this thing it’s like it’s intoxicating. Made me stupid, made me sit there buzzing with a dumb smile on my face. And thinking about it now I kind of want to go see it again – maybe there’s something addictive in there, that’s not fair. Visually, aurally, atmospherically it verges on “a triumph!” (please don’t put that on the ad, thanks.) It’s just some of the script and of course the entire premise of the TRON series that suck. If only they ditched the story and the real world, just threw us into this place to get shoved around and figure out how to escape, we could really have something here. During those scenes where I was able to forget about logic and just be trapped in an electronic nightmare world it felt almost like a legitimately good movie. Maybe even a great one.

I’m not trying to convince anybody this is good, and I’m not making any excuses for it. Movies should be better and make more sense than this. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing special about it to appreciate. It’s kind of comparable to SPEED RACER – I don’t want them to keep making movies like this, but as a one-off it’s a unique enough experience that I’m thankful for it.

I don’t think it’ll hold up much at home, though. If you plan to ever see this in your life, I say spring for the 3-D Imax or the loudest 3-D digital theater you know of and just let it grab you and dunk you into the world of TRON like a dude who knows where the bomb is hidden.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 at 3:13 am and is filed under Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

78 Responses to “TRON Legacy”

  1. I agree, Tron (1982) is a cool movie to look at, but a quite boring movie.

  2. Steven Lisberger is a very good director – his SLIPSTREAM (1989) is a criminally underrated movie (kinda of Indiana Jones version of BLADE RUNNER).

    And I still think that the moment from TRON where Bridges kisses the program Yori in front of a shining light beam is one of the greatest romantic scenes ever. It should go up in movie history right next to the final of CASABLANCA and crap like that.

  3. We totally need more movies like Speed Racer. No apologies, no bullshit – just FUN

  4. Pac-Man IS in there, Vern

  5. But your food/pig deconstruction was amazing.

  6. But what about Bruce Boxleitner, Vern? In 1982 he was bigger than Bridges, at least for those who owned a TV set.

  7. Wait…isn’t BLADE RUNNER the Indiana Jones version of Blade Runner, seeing as it stars Indiana Jones?

    Also, Speed Racer is the very reason that marijuana brownies were invented. Great movie, and it came very close to actually having some of the values that I would want to impart to a child. They keep talking about how it’s about family and being the best version o you, not about winning…but then they let Speed win in the end. He shoulda had to lose the race so that his team mate, Mr. Ninja Assassin could win for the whole team, or something. But I digress…

    Finally, a question — do the cyber girls have cyber vaginas or are they like barbie dolls? I mean, they don’t seem to reproduce. There are no children in Tron, are there? I figure, being that he’s the son of G-d and all, worst case scenario Sam could probably cop a cyber bj from Olivia Wilde and I think we can all agree that this would be far from “settling,” (unless the moisture causes that weird, licking a battery sensation, though to be fair even that would be pretty wicked cool if it were from Olivia Wilde and scored by Daft Punk).

    In any case, good review Vern. You convinced me to see this thing. Not gonna spring for the IMAX, but I’ll see it in 3D.

  8. I kinda disagree about your analysis of logic in this movie (and of course it’s predecessor). I’m not saying that it IS logical to have little programs living real lives inside a computer and stuff like that, but what might turn you off, is a big turn on for me (In a non-sexual way. I swear!). Just because it has this old school feel. Today everything in SciFi must be explained and at least sound like it could really work in a few years (decades), but in its earliest days, people wrote Science Fiction as FICTION. Y’know, stuff that is completely impossible and illogical, but because of that is so inspiring and most of all fun! It’s that wonderful Jules Verne approach, that Science Fiction is missing these days. Back then you could travel to the centre of the earth and find a lost civilisation or something or astral project yourself to another planet and fight with 9 feet tall, 6 armed space insects, but today you must be cool and somehow scientific proven. That kinda sucks.

    Anyway, Germany is one of the last countries in the world to get this movie (January 27 I think), so I haven’t seen it yet, but I swear that after missing Avatar, Piranha and Jackass in theatres, I’m gonna lose my modern 3D virginity on this one. (Cue the “eyeball fucking” jokes.)

    And while I’m seriously sure that Daft Punk (when they are not scoring movies) won’t be your cup of tea Vern (Not because you are old or something, but only because you don’t seem to be someone who likes this kind of electronic music), I’m gonna recommend you to start exploring them (if you are interested) by listening to their second album DISCOVERY. (What a fitting title.) It’s their most “commercial”, is full of nice vocal house that is not too abstract, but still way above what Lady Gaga thinks is dance music. You could also try to get your hands on INTERSTELLAR 5555, which is pretty much the same album, but as an animated movie.
    Do not, I repeat, do NOT start with their 3rd album HUMAN AFTER ALL, because that one is so bizarre and noisy, that it made them lose most of the fans that they gained with DISCOVERY. (Although I love it.) If you wanna start from the beginning, with their 1st album HOMEWORK, that would be okay too. It’s not too experimental, but also gives a nice sense of what they are capable off, if they decide to screw any kind of radio compatibility.

  9. “I’d like to hear what Pac-Man has to say for himself.”

    Well, you know Pac-Man — all he has to say is:
    “Wacka-wacka-wacka-wacka…”
    ;-)

    I remember seeing the first TRON movie in ’82 or ’83. And even then, as a kid, I thought “This doesn’t make sense, lasering that poor dude into square pieces, there’s no blood leaking, and he just sits absolutely frozen, not even screaming or twitching — or falling over! — as he’s chopped up.”

    And the plot was a bit on the thin side. Maybe that was why I never got into TRON.

    WARGAMES was much easier to believe — you could believe that a bright kid with the right equipment just *might* be able to hack into military computer system. And without being lasered into little pieces.

  10. I always really liked Tron ’82–admittedly, it was made by computer engineers and animators, so it maybe doesn’t have the smoothest narrative flow or deepest characters, but….It always seemed to me like some kind of beautiful avant garde art film disguised as a big studio blockbuster sci-fi action movie. Like it had more in common with films by Harry Smith, Stan Brakhage, Ken Jacobs, people like that.

    I’m surprised how little most people seem to remember and or regard it–I always got the impression everybody considered TRON one of the canonical, visionary-80s-fantasy-films, or at least remembered it fondly as “that weird movie that took place in a computer.” It’s not perfect but it’s got a lot of great, unforgettable, iconic moments and is truly moving and enjoyable. I think it’s really being underrated now–I guess when the DVD comes back into print everybody’s gonna be like, “Wait, we were wrong! It’s not stupid!”

    I have zero interest in the sequel. If they couldn’t figure out someway to have the world of the game grid reflect how our relationship to modern computers has changed, forget it. And it just seems pretty lame anyway.

  11. Somebody said that the real sequel to the ’82 TRON was THE SOCIAL NETWORK; I wholly agree.

  12. TRON is a seriously dull movie that I loved as a kid.
    Even the structure as you watch it makes very little sense, I now realise and nothing much really happens. I watched it last week and it is appalling in terms of narrative.

    However, the design is brilliant, the reality is definitely different, with
    recognisable physics having no real place and some of the in-camera filtering is terrific
    (the weird light scattering effect of the guard staffs and sparks).
    And I still love the sound of the Recognizers. The sound design overall is amazing actually.

    I’ve heard complains that CLU (the young-ified Jeff Bridges) doesn’t look convincingly realistic – that kind
    of sounds brilliant to me – he’s a sort of simulation (although I guess that’s not realy true – CLU is a
    real program).

    Crikey, it sounds like I’m into this.

    But the original *is* boring.

  13. ANIMALYMPICS is kind of a big deal over here with people my age or maybe a little bit older. Personally I thought it was a dull, cheap, pretty generic, kind of ugly and rarely funny movie, but then I did see when I was about 13.

    I got plenty of time for TRON though, even though by the time I saw it (96, I believe) it was already very old hat

    Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll get a LAWNMOWER MAN: PORT OF CALL CYBERSPACE that returns Jeff Fahey to his biggest role.

  14. Actually Daft Punk did a movie themselves. Its called ELECTROMA and deals with them in a robot world trying to be humans or something. Its artsy fartsy in a boring, weird and i think uintentionally funny way. But it has some great music, its on google video if you care.

    Or just try to find a good video of their ALIVE Tour for the most amazing lightshow ever.

  15. just to give you an idea:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqwpimR79Tw&feature=related

    Maybe thats whats like for TRON programs in the real world as well, i guess LEGACY doesn’t explore that, haha

  16. Like 50% of the reason I went to see this was to hear the Daft Punk score on a massive sound system. Naturally, the surround sound was broken at the theater where we went to see it. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they didn’t know that before the movie started. At the least the Daft Punk cameo, as two robot DJs who give each other a little nod and change the music they are playing when the realize an action scene is about to break out, was pretty funny.

    I’d say the action scenes make TRON: LEGACY worthwhile, especially the early ones set in “the games,” but anything having to do with plot, character, dialog, etc was pretty much a dead zone. It was a fun laser light show with great musical accompaniment, but probably won’t do much for people who need a strong narrative.

  17. “I know on the internet you can find people who are into just about any freaky shit anybody ever came up with, but jesus – TRON? Well, at least it’s a unique movie. I get that more than if it was KRULL.”

    (BR Baraka swallows hard, puts down 5 sided Krull boomerang, takes off Princess Lyssa outfit, looks around and taps leg nervously)

  18. Doing a train on PRINCE Leia in a Slave Outfit?? {shudder} Thanks for taking a horrific mental image one step beyond, Vern…

    Great review as always though! I’m listening to the TronLeg soundtrack right now (early download from Amazon). They didn’t have enough music to completely fill a CD, so I added four cues from the two recent Batman movies–it’s amazing how well they all go together…

  19. Incidentally, is anyone else surprised that Disney didn’t already release a Blu-Ray (or at least a DVD) of Tron to promote this film?!

    I don’t even recall seeing it offered/promoted on cable or dish or whatever the heck we get our TV system from nowadays. (I don’t handle that tech issue at our house.) Disney heavily promoted the new Narnia movie by heavily fronting up the first two in recent weeks, despite not even having a financial stake in the new one! (Kind of reverse promotion: using the new film to get mileage out of having the rights to show the first two.)

    Maybe even they realized that showing the first film to promote the second would be buzz-kill?–that it’s better viewed through memory thickened nostalgia?

  20. Also, seeing as how the first film doesn’t exist in any dojo right now: can someone remind me what the heck Bruce Boxleitner had to do with the first film? I mean it was named after his character (TRON), and I half-recall vaguely that he was supposed to be the main character. But then I half recall Jeff Bridges was supposed to be the main character. (Oddly, I don’t think I’ve ever watched the first movie, but I used to own the novelization. I think. Maybe. I don’t remember much from it either.)

    Did Boxleitner’s character go looking for “Flynn” after Flynn disappeared into the system and was held captive by the CPU? And if so, would that make the new movie even more derivative of the original?!

  21. Sabreman: It’s been years since I saw the film, but I think it was a pretty familiar set up: Boxleitner and Bridges are estranged friends, Boxleitner being the straight company man and Bridges being the outsider/hacker. I don’t remember if Cindy Morgan had a relationship with Bridges before moving on the reliable Boxleitner, but it’s likely. Boxleitner needs Bridges to bring down Evil Corp.

    Inside the computer world, Tron is the super hero/terrorist who is trying to bring down the
    system. Q*bert is his lovable comedic sidekick who is captured by the Galaga ship and waterboarded until he betrays Tron.

  22. Sabreman: As far as I know, Disney decided indeed to not re-release part 1 on home video now, because they were afraid that it might hurt part 2. Rumor has it that there was a huge theatrical screening of it a while ago and audiences started laughing at all the wrong things (Y’know, the MST3K generation). There WILL be a new home video release, but I think it’s coming in February (Or when LEGACY arrives in stores).

  23. The original TRON is a snooze that would have been long since forgotten if not for a distinct visual style. Really I would rather see a KRULL squeal then a TRON squeal.

  24. I’d watch another Krull.

  25. I didn’t see TRON until a few years ago, so I have no nostalgia for it. So maybe I’m just crazy, but I think the original has some interesting things to say about capitalism, rebellion, man’s relationship to God, etc.

    And that chick from CADDYSHACK looked really hot in that skintight circuitry suit. If there are more chicks in the new one then I’m definitely seeing it.

  26. I’ve got the Daft Punk soundtrack. Well worth investing in. Not keen on the movie though.

  27. The girls in their outfits are the highlight.

  28. Ace: I’ll be saying that about life on my death bed: The gals in their outfits were the highlight. Them and the fight scene in MY FATHER IS A HERO.

  29. Also, the horsefucker talkback.

  30. If Equinas was in TRON, he would have to get someone to zap a few horses into Tronworld for him along with the pigs and chickens.

  31. You gotta admit that a horse would look pretty hot in one of those skin tight neon jumpsuits.

  32. Of note: Playboy is promoting a photo-shoot featuring the girls of Tron endorsed by Disney using proms and themes from the film.

    I see Tron as a fantasy film with a technological setting rather than a true science fiction movie. Then again I see a lot of science fiction films as fantasy flicks. It just makes them go down easy.

    If you had to some kind of justification for why the Tron world is the way it is, then it would be the human mind dreaming the electronic world, aka what you see is just a human interpretation of the digital activity inside the system. Of course that doesn’t explain how it moves the real world items to the digital realm or vice versa, presumably it can transform matter to a state of energy and vice versa which could do far more impressive things that let you live in a video game.

    I’m no super fan but i liked Tron as a kid and liked it as well when I saw it as an adult. It is kind of slow and hollow but you can say the same for a lot of art that still pushes pleasure buttons. It’s a dreamy and elemental thing and I think the sequel actually does a better job of capturing that.

    I was most impressed by the digital bridges as I really felt like the digital one was not just a construct but was indeed acting as bridges would act the scene, an extension of the actor rather than a simulation of him. It must have been a hoot to play his younger self against his older self and then watch that.

  33. As someone who only watched the first one once years ago, I’m not really attached to the series, but I was pretty satisfied with Legacy. The visuals, music and action action scenes were all really good, but the plot was a bit too predictable and conventional, and I saw it’s “twists” coming a mile away. If it had surprised me more it could have been great rather than just very good. It was also weird how Cillian Murphy has that uncredited role in it that’s clearly meant for expansion in a sequel, but is restricted to just one scene in this movie. I kept expecting his character to come back later, and even considered staying till the end of the credits, but didn’t bother in the end, and it turned out there was nothing there anyway.

  34. Was any one else reminded of the ending of The Bronx Warriors during the fight at the club?? Specifically the part where Hammer is screaming “Hammer is God!!” right above this huge brawl?

  35. I gotta say, this one was sorta better than I expected in a stil-not-quite-exactly-good way. There are a few interesting ideas bouncing around, but it seems like each time the film is on the verge of actually exploring one, it changes direction and never picks up that thread again (ie, freedom of information, perfection is an abstract, doing nothing is doing something, isometric whatevers, creation and creators, abandonment and reconciliation). It smacks of a script rewritten until its littered with garbage from old drafts that don’t make sense anymore but have been there so long no one notices. And tellingly, its about a half hour too long.

    Still, there are some things to like. For one, I can’t think of too many movie sequels which pick up after this length of time and still have such a close connection to the original. Its still most of the same characters, and each has a place in the world, although their arrangement has changed radically. Weird and not-quite successful as it is, I think the idea of modern Bridges squaring off against the version of himself he created almost 30 years ago is quite interesting and even makes the out-of-the-blue finale sort of almost touching (Clu feels like he’s done exactly what his creator made him to do, and can’t understand why he was betrayed). Obviously the ‘games’ while they still don’t make much sense, are fun, and the obvious evolution of the computer society borders on interesting (while still not exactly making a lick of sense, I feel that it COULD have been made to make sense, if someone had cared to do it). I even kind of enjoyed the trucated abandonment arc, which doesn’t play out quite as cliched as one might expect – in fact, both father and son have a sort of complicated reunion which avoids milking the obvious drama but doesn’t quite promise that everything is forgiven, either.

    And for the record, I actually loved Michael Sheen’s Tim-Curry-Plays-Jack-Sparrow turn. The film is so solemn otherwise, for something so blatantly outrageous. I think that character brings a little life to the film just as it’s beginning to seem impossibly serious. It’s way over the top, but the whole film’s over the top and at least he seems like he’s having fun with it.

    There’s just enough room left at the end that I can imagine a sequel which might be substantive enough that I could get into it, too. I’m ok with imagining programs as people (did it seem that absurd in THE MATRIX?) but you’ve got to try just a little harder to work up a reason to tell the story. Or, just settle on one reason and actually work with it a little.

  36. “I gotta say, this one was sorta better than I expected in a stil-not-quite-exactly-good way.”

    Someone should put that quote in the TRON ads.

  37. TRON: JEREMY(SFW, just very suggestive):
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/earnestp/tron-jeremy-4yk
    And there is an actual real porn spoof being made called PRON

  38. The programs are reflections of the people who created them, so in the computer world they are watching UFC fights and getting drunk in night clubs. I guess that makes sense. Vern, totally agree on the music, I thought Carpenter also; as well as Tangerine Dream and Vangelis. I liked the scene with the four girls you are stripped and re-clothed before you pass on in to the underworld, you wouldn’t be able to hear the biodigital jazz otherwise.

  39. Personally I thought Sheen was doing his best David Bowie impersonation.

    Movie wasn’t bad, forgettable but here is my advice: Buy the soundtrack. Skip the movie till DVD, or a very generous budget 2nd-run theatre.

  40. If anyone is interested the entirety TRON is on Youtube. Very high quality. Video, at least. The movie, which I hadn’t seen until a couple days ago, isn’t all that hot. I think the people calling it boring are sort of off, if nothing else the movie is only 90 minutes long, and is packed with incident and visuals. Pretty much every frame is packed with details and effects. A lot of the time it looks kind of shitty, but in a really interesting, original way.

    You can tell it was made by primarily animators and designers, seeing as how flat and monotone pretty much everyone is. I mean, Bridges is great because he’s Bridges, and David Warner gives probably the biggest, most literally scenery chewing performance until Nick Nolte in Hulk. But everyone else is acting like they’re on Novacaine or something.

    Besides the aesthetic and some of its more interesting ideas, TRON really is of a piece with most of the shitty 70’s and 80’s fantasy and sci-fi movies. It plays out more like a list of all the set pieces and ideas that the filmmakers wanted to include and play with but never figures out how to do anything with them. There’s no pulse, no urgency to any of it. It’s to bad, because as other people have mentioned, the idea of creating links between technology and religion is fascinating and if TRON had actually addressed and played with those and other concepts, as opposed to using them as the springboard for the 10,000th Wizard of Oz riff, TRON may have become an actual landmark Sci-fi film, as opposed to a curious museum piece.

  41. As a visual/aural experience TRON LEGACY is impressive. As a narrative it is a sack full of assfucked goats.

    I’ve seen the original TRON twice, but that’s once as a little kid and once what, 10 years ago when the DVD came out? I don’t really remember plot specifics. I remember it’s boring but cool looking, and has some kinda interesting metaphory stuff going on with its themes. It’s more fantasy than science fiction, but the dodgy science can basically be excused because it was 1982 and computers had that mystique at the time. It has *ideas*, at least.

    This film feels like it’s either the first/early second draft of something, or the Frankenstein’s monster of a fortieth draft. Or ten different drafts fed through a paper shredder and reassembled by a kindergarten class. Then rewritten by a toddler after a round of studio notes. It makes no objective sense on a story level. My brain hurts just thinking about it.

    I agree with Vern that the movie could stand to lose that real world intro altogether. And I know there are about a dozen diehard TRON fans out there that would go hunt down Kosinski with a sniper rifle if he changed canon, but a lot of that backstory needed a good jettisoning as well. But let’s start with that Batman maneuver our man Sam pulls right off the bat. So, this guy is a majority shareholder in Encom and could take control at any moment. But instead of assuming the throne, he breaks into his own company and uploads their latest platform to the internet for free. It’s mentioned he does this once a year. And in fact this time he released it for free 30 seconds before it was about to be released for sale! I picture millions of users sitting poised over a mouse, waiting anxiously to download Encom Vista. They have two browser windows open: ENCOM.COM and THEPIRATEBAY.ORG. They’re searching every five seconds just to make sure someone hasn’t uploaded it for free. SUDDENLY SOMEONE UPLOADS ENCOM VISTA FOR FREE, WITH THIRTY SECONDS TO GO! The users frantically download the free version and install it immediately. Except people like me, who usually puts off Windows Updates until my computer rebelliously does them itself and reboots automatically. With unsaved writing open, if possible.

    So, why is any of this even happening? Why is Sam just trying to stick it to his rascally old Board of Directors like this? What is his DEAL, man?

    The movie drops all this bullshit and suddenly Sam is on the grid. For about half an hour I was fairly pleased. There was a whole shitload of cool action and world building going on, so I was fairly willing to put up with the seemingly arbitrary opening 15 minutes. But then Sam is rescued by Quora and driven out to Dad’s place. The narrative goes bonkers from here.

    I think the problem is that they tried to wedge this movie into your typical STAR WARS hero’s journey template, with Flynn in the role of Obiwan and Clu in the role of Vader. But when it didn’t quite fit, they just figured they could patch things over with huge, unweildy exposition dumps that make up rules and stakes the moment they need to pay off. Whenever backstory is required we flash back to more exposition in a weird lo res style. And yet no one opens their mouth and explains whether or not Quora is real and fuckable at the end of the movie. She’s made of… program. Does she eat? Does she go to the bathroom? If you cut her, does she bleed? SMASH TO BLACK

    So somewhere in one of these exposition fests Dad explains he got stuck in TRON because there’s only this arbitrary eight hour window where you can get off the grid, with no failsafe device to make sure users (ie real people) can’t get stuck inside. Good one, Dad. Even though Dad lives in the grid’s equivalent of the wilderness, and the portal is in the grid’s equivalent of the wilderness, Dad says they’d have to go back on Clu’s grid to get out. He’s just going to give up, and stay on the grid like a big mopey baby. Sam ain’t having none of that, so he goes back to the grid himself to visit some guy that Quora, Dad’s nymphish ward, claims can help, leaving a trail of Dadprints all over the place. The guy who was supposed to help turns out to be Lando Calrissian by way of David Bowie, but by now Dad and Olivia Wilde have realized the thing about the Dadprints, so they intercept Lando Calrissian but then Dad’s disk gets stolen which doesn’t seem to effect anything so they gotta get that back obviously before they get out and pew pew pew and I wish I could figure out what Clu’s villainous plans are here because he sure seems serious about them. I think he wants to send an army of programs into the real world? Why? Does he know we have guns? Who cares, the Millennium Falcon is blastie TieFighters out of the sky now pew pew pew

    So now we’re at the big finale, Bridges vs. Bridges. I do agree that the idea of Clu just fulfilling his program to create the perfect system is kind of cool. It makes me wonder how he decided that this weird-ass fetish land is the perfect system, but nevermind. It’s kind of in line with HAL 9000’s conflicting directives, or COLOSSUS (the Forbin Project) taking control of the planet away from humans to “keep humanity safe”. It’s a “big idea” I dig on, as a science fiction nut.

    But just as a brain cell is getting a good work out in my brain, Old Bridges uses magical powers and blows everything up. He sacrifices himself needlessly instead of just owning Clu and leaving with his son, because he really respects Obiwan Kenobi. OK, Dad, not only could you have used those powers to save yourself at the end there, you PROBABLY COULD HAVE MATRIXED YOUR WAY OUT OF HERE AT SOME POINT IN THE LAST 28 YEARS.

    I can respect anyone that enjoyed this movie as a sensory experience. I wouldn’t even be shocked if someone told me they can overlook the story problems and enjoy it for what it is. I just personally have to take a stand somewhere against Hollywood repeatedly doing this shit. They’re probably 300-400 million dollars into this thing by now, including the promotional budget. And the problems are all way back in first million or two of that fortune, when they were DEVELOPING A SCRIPT! I think there’s a fucking awesome TRON movie in some alternate universe somewhere. It’s concepts that get movies made. I just wish they’d always work to develop an airtight script before setting release dates and rolling cameras and re-rolling cameras. They could have made two hundred movies for their budget, and I’m pretty sure at least one of them would have more cultural value than this TRON abomination that is currently fucking eyeballs and earholes around the world.

  42. Damn, Gwai. Tell ’em why you mad, son.

  43. Oh yeah there are SPOILERS in that rant BTW (SPOILER)

  44. I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!

  45. You’re messing with my zen thing here, man.

  46. Ok, I’ve never heard of the “House” movies, and I have even less interest in “Tron 2” than I did in “Avatar” (still haven’t seen it, probably won’t). Sometimes I have these periods when I’m out of touch with the entire Internet, it seems, and this is one of them. The weird thing is this is kinda what I wanted – to see a film I never thought was particularly good, remade into a better film than the original. Which by most accounts it seems to be. But still… somehow I can’t summon up the enthusiasm.

  47. “As a narrative it is a sack full of assfucked goats.”

    I’m not sure I’m comprehending all the intricacies of that analogy. Are you saying that as a narrative, it’s my biggest fantasy?

  48. Now there’s a topic for your blog, Dan. Be sure to include photos for comparison.

  49. TRON 2.0 is a much better sequel than LEGACY from what I gather. Users with PCs might want to seek it out. It’s 100% Bridges-free but features both Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan.

  50. One other funny thing about the movie. I think it’s trying to be some meditation on socialism or something. Sam foils his capitalist company by communizing their software. He lives in a shipping crate and drinks Coors like a real man of the people. He namedrops Tolstoy and Dostoevsky when he sees them on his Dad’s shelf, like he’s all read up on Russian literature. Clu’s “perfect system” is this regimented, uniform society with a small, corrupt elite.

  51. What was the deal with the army Clu was building? Did he plan on marching them out of Trontopolis like clone troopers, unleashing the power of the frisbee on us all? It would have been pretty sweet watching them chuck their disc thingys at the PD, only to get teargassed and/or end up getting blasted with assault rifles and shotguns.

    And what about Quorra? What’s going to happen to her when she turns on the TV and learns that the real world outside of Sam’s little slice of rich-kid heaven TOTALLY FUCKING SUCKS. Talk about a total letdown.

  52. Vern, a couple of things: most heroes nowadays are rich and fucking around and had an epiphany because most heroes were like these in the 30s and 40s were the adventurer archetype was created. Think The Shadow and his alter ego Lamont Cranston. And the comic superheroes are the children of this firts heroes.

    Also, the movie explains that Flynn goes back and forth to the computer world after the first time goes there. So that’s why he gets trapped in 1989 although he was out in 82.

    And, Vern, finally but not least: what the fuck is with you, americans, and this suspension of disbelief? Is like a real obsesion over there. I remember reading a book called Monster Show where they explain, that back in the 30s, the Universal people were concerned that Dracula would be a disaster because vampires doesn’t exist in real life and people would not see a movie about a thing that don’t exist.

    Maybe it’s just me, but the great thing about movies is that you can watch things that doesn’t exist, couldn’t exist and never will exist. If I want reality, I just look through a window. Yes, the concept of the alternate world inside the computer is preposterous, but who cares? It’s a great world. I love it and I have I blast watching it and never stop to think that this cuoldn’t be real. Now I know I love because it isn’t real, it’s something that only exist in this movies.

    It’s magic. And for me, that’s what movies are about. Magic.

  53. I do wonder about people like this Kosinski fella. This is his first movie and his next project is a remake of THE BLACK HOLE. Can the extent of someone’s ambitions really be to update a couple of live action Disney movies which some kids really dug but were box office disappointments and history has ultimately judged to be “ok”. Heck, THE BLACK HOLE is probably best known for being the first PG Disney movie, and that isn’t even actually true!

  54. If Cillian Murphy’s in it, maybe it’s just an elaborate dream-construct designed to steal ENCOM’s secrets.

  55. Which is a better explanation than the guys inside a computer alternative.

  56. PacMan Fever: Well, most people I know think, when someone mentions THE BLACK HOLE of the silly robot, the creepy hell ending and Anthony Hopkins’ disturbing death scene. So there. ;)

  57. CJ: I respect your bananagrabber picture too much to be the guy who says, “Perkins, not Hopkins.” Also, I don’t want to be confused with someone who actually remembers THE BLACK HOLE too well.

    Can someone who has seen the new TRON give me an idea how well CGI Bridges compares to CGI Schwartzenegger in the last TERMINATOR movie? I actually thought they did a good job with that one. Too bad about the rest of the movie.

  58. Can you believe that? While writing this, I was seriously trying to avoid this mistake. I was literally thinking “Perkins, not Hopkins”. But I guess then I hit the Submit button too early. (Or I did it right and these Wikileaks fanboys hacked this site and changed the comment, to make me look like an idiot. I go with the hackers. I know after all the difference between Hopkins and Perkins.)

    BTW, I wonder why so many people think that young Jeff Bridges is an all CGI creation, because he is not. They “just” used that digital make up on Jeff Bridges, that was used in BENJAMIN BUTTON, to de-age him.

  59. I thought the digital Bridges didn’t look quite right (I never believed for a second that I was actually seeing a young Jeff Bridges), but it didn’t bother me at first because he’s supposed to be a computer program. Then, unfortunately, they have an extended flashback with Bridges’ human character, and he looks equally “off.” It’s not majorly distracting, but I was constantly aware that I was looking at special effects and wasn’t quite able to suspend disbelief.

  60. Greg- Well that’s why Quorra’s there. The ISOs are meant to be “profoundly naive, infinitely wise”, and were going to somehow help make the world better.

  61. Jareth — Pretty much agree with Dan. Digi-Bridges has a few moments in the film where he might actually convince you, generally when he’s not moving and can hide in shadows a little. Unfortunately, the opening scene with young Bridges in the past awkwardly hides his face and then suddenly reveals it, just to make absolutely certain you don’t go a single second without remembering its an effect. It’s kind of cool, and I think doing it for CLU works, but they have a tiny but hugely important way to go before this technology doesnt feel like a violation of God’s will.

    Gwai Lo — about the whole socialism thing, just one of the many ideas which seems like it might have been part of the script at some point but no longer really connects to anything. Harry over at AICN seems to think the script is about freedom of information, which would be a cool and appropriate thing to explore, although I think that’s an almost impossible argument to make based on what’s actually IN the film.

  62. Gwai: {{Clu’s “perfect system” is this regimented, uniform society with a small, corrupt elite.}}

    Fridge Brilliance? Massive Dramatic Irony? (A meditation on socialism that shows what socialism has tended to lead to historically?)

    Great review/critique comment, too, btw.

  63. Lends a weird depth to CLU’s complaint that he only did what his (leftish anti-establishment) dad programmed him to do…

    I wish I could think the movie was really trying to have a message of “Look it sounds great but somehow you have to figure out how NOT TO END UP LIKE THIS!”

  64. Sabreman — yeah, its frustrating because there’s obviously an interesting point to be made there but the film absolutely refuses to make it. In part, the problem is that CLU’s so-called perfect society doesn’t make much sense. He was programed to create perfection, but by what definition? What specifically is he trying to do with his society? Why would he consider the ISOs imperfect? What possible definition of perfection includes executing people in elaborate gaming arenas? It would be much more interesting if it had been specified what he was actually programmed to do, and why Bridges at that time thought the parameters he specified would have the desired outcome (and, what he thinks now). With none of this in there, the point becomes pretty moot. And it’s a damn shame, because it’s immidiately obvious how interesting it might have been. There’s probably five or six major ideas in the film which peter out exactly the same way.

  65. Without being privy to this specific development process, I also have a pretty strong feeling some of these ideas are just the vestiges of previous drafts that weren’t completely scrubbed out of the shooting script/reshoot script. It actually makes perfect sense. A company like Disney, giving a first time feature director hundreds of millions of dollars to make a sequel to one of their catalog hits (let’s just say for the sake of a laugh or two that the original TRON was a hit). Of course they’re not going to give the guy the freedom of a Christopher Nolan or someone. I bet there honestly were forty drafts, and I bet the end result is pretty mutated from all of the studio notes. Not that this first-time director and the assigned writers would have had an unimpeachable sense of story if it weren’t for that meddlesome studio, I’m sure they would have made the thing imperfect all on their own. But today’s Hollywood movie factory is a hard place to tell a good story. Compared to the 70s, when movie execs basically considered filmmakers to magic shamans that they simply had to trust, now every movie exec has a copy of McKee’s “Story” or Vogler’s “The Hero’s Journey” on their desk and fancies themselves an expert on dramaturgy, whether or not they passed high school English. And if they don’t notice any obvious coloring outside the lines they can bring up in their notes or at the meeting, they come up with piddling nonsense critiques and stick to them as a matter of pride.

    On the topic of socialism/freedom of information… Flynn definitely believes in it, so strongly in fact that he’s instilled his values in his son to the point that his son pulls off Mission Impossible hacking maneuvers to honor them. But Clu seems to take Flynn way too literally in his goal to make the perfect program, and ends up creating a dystopian nightmare. There’s kind of a Marx and Lenin/Stalin dynamic going on here, but again, the metaphor doesn’t really fit. Mainly because communism’s flaws are all in human nature. In theory, communism should work just fine. In practice, humans are greedy and malicious, and a system like that can’t work if it requires human leadership. Clu is like an answer to that. He’s not a human, he’s a program. He should, conceivably, be able to carry out his orders perfectly, without any of the human flaws that have ruined attempts at communism in human society. But the system still ends up FUBAR. Which leads me to believe there was something wonky in Flynn’s original manifesto. I mean, something other than all the neon and spandex everywhere, which predates Clu’s coup. This movie is saying Marx was wrong, not Stalin. Which may actually have some merit. But in this oversimplified Hollywood product, that means the heroes are totally wrong in their beliefs and are responsible for creating this hellish environment. But yeah, go Flynns. I’m not sure the movie even meant for any of these ideas to be in here, they were probably supposed to be surgically excised back on draft twenty nine, and no one noticed when they were left in.

    One last thing… what is the deal with Tron himself? It’s like they remembered at the last second that the movie is called TRON so he should probably show up sooner or later. Nothing about his character makes sense. He defends Bridges from the coup, presumably gets reprogrammed, ends up being the star gladiator in the light show (seems like dangerous work to give your right hand man) and then has a last minute change of heart and throws the Emperor down the big hole. I mean turns on Clu.

  66. Gwai — definitely got the same impression about the script being the unholy union of lots of ideas that once made sense but are now removed from all context.

    The whole possibility of comparing freedom of information to socialism is possible, but unfortunately we just don’t ever see enough of how Clu has structured his world to know exactly what he thought he was doing with it. Obviously, its a dictatorship, but I don’t see anything that suggests it’s socialist. And in computer world, there shouldn’t be any resources anyway to divide up, and since they’re programs they’re presumably going to be happy doing whatever their program was intended to do, so that should be fine. So as the movie plays, I don’t think the comparison exactly works. We’d have to know more about A) Flynn’s philosophy, both now and then B) Clu’s philosophy now and C) What the difference is between Flynn’s indended purpose for Clu and his actual application. Without knowing these details sorting out meaning is pretty hopeless. Like I said, its frustrating because its so obvious that someone could have gone in there an made it interesting, they just didn’t.

  67. As a fan of the first movie, mostly for its concept and art than the fact that its an actualy GOOD movie, I thought the second was a mixed bag.

    It was nice they invested the money and time into it. However, it did have its fair share of problems. (SPOILERS)
    The overall plot was ok, and made sense. CLU run amok, traps Jeff Bridges, now his son has to get him out. The things that turned me off were:
    1. Minimal updating of the world. Sure, the look was updated: but nothing else. Programs were not complex. There were not multiple levels of programs (ie simple subroutines vs complex programs). ISOs made little sense. The food thing. The blood thing.

    2. Explanation of what being “in the computer”: Like Vern said, it wasnt’ done right at all. In the old one, the laser digitized you and you existed within the “program realm”. This was not shown, or updated, or explained. Just a laser, a warp effect and a weird non-sensical world. The food, blood, etc…lame.

    3. Castor is probably the most annoying character ever. There is no build up of who Zeus is. No exhibit of his power. There is no tension to the reveal. He doesn’t even merge with Gem or anything. Just the old “it was me all along!”. Plus he acted like a fool the whole time.

    4. Trotropolis is not explained. In the original, all the computer just lived in a big world city. In this one, its a city in a desert.

    5. The ending was a TOTAL cash grab and tuned me off to the whole movie. They basically killed off the old main characters in an attempt to reboot the series. Now its will be Sam vs Dilinger Jr, with the beautiful Quorra! Why kill Flynn? What is re-integration? why will it kill him? Why does Tron change sides and die? it was stupid. A better ending would have been:

    Clu and Flynn have their talk. Clu descends with his army. Flynn uses his ace in the hole: the ability to access Tron as a root user. Now that another User knows his plight, Flynn can start to fight, knowing he has backup. Flynn turns Tron to his side, turns on abilities that Clu never knew about (he merely being a program, and Tron being his first re-purposing). Tron fights multiple programs, and his and Flynns access spreads throughout the system. Then Tron multiplies, and along with Flynn, kick ass with their discs, and battle Clu on the Grid while Sam and Quorra escape to get help.

    Final scene is Diligner Jr. Getting a text that says “Please access terminal 19, password: CLU” or something to that effect. Old characters live, and there is room for new stories.

    Also Clu should have wanted the disc so he could impersonate a User, not so that he could go over the internet or whatever.

    6. Gem is hotter than Quorra

  68. holy cow, I have so many spelling and grammar mistakes in there. I wish I could delete/edit that mess.

  69. I was so totally pissed off at this movie that I had to watch the original Tron to get my sanity back. It’s not Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or Matrix Reloaded bad, but it comes close. The biggest
    reason why I hated this flick was because it was called Tron: Legacy and Tron was only in it for about 2 minutes. Plus, they made him bad and killed him off in a massively cheap and lame-o way. (Errr… Spoiler…) Seriously, who’s idea was THAT? Really, Alan gets more screen time than Tron does and when Tron is on screen, most of the time his face is covered by a stupid motorcycle helmet. The only reason I can think the filmmakers did that was they spent all of their CGI money on de-agifying Jeff Bridges and didn’t have even dough left over to make Bruce Boxleitner look young. Either that or it was some bizarro nod to Game of Death where they take the supposed “star” of the movie and use body doubles and a dude wearing motorcycle helmets to hide his face.

  70. Enjoyed this movie, and I have to wonder if 3D technology actually forces film-makers to use competent cinematic craftsmanship; to actually have “shots” in their movies, or to at least think about composition.

    It’s probably worth seeing in a theater (and in 3D) since everything good about it is something cinematic; the way it combines visuals, pacing and music to convey meaning.

    The soundtrack’s great, but I think I might actually prefer Tomandandy’s similarly John Carpenter-esque score for Resident Evil: Afterlife. A movie that also has a weak narrative (they’re ripping off The Matrix, still?) but turns out to possibly be one of the better Carpenter pastiches I’ve seen. The story might suck, but it gets the tone right. And, the ending, which is supposed to set up a sequel, felt weirdly, hilariously existential.

  71. Was I the only one a little disappointed that the Daft Punk score is like 90% generic hero’s journey orchestral stuff? I mean, they might as well have hired Hans Zimmer and just got three or four Daft Punk songs for the parts in Castor’s pad. Not that the score is bad, but it mostly feel more Disney than Daft to me.

  72. FWIW: I thought Sheen was mega acting

    I missed the boat on Tron growing up and it’s only grown on me in recent years. More than any possible sense it makes, I just love the idea THAT someone made a movie where computer programs are living people. I guess that’s what El Trifido is talking about.

    I’m glad it exists. I’m glad someone made the big budget modern day version. Not my favorite, either one, but I’m glad they exist.

  73. I had no business liking this as much as I did. I’ve never seen the first one and was expecting something on the level of TRANSFORMERS judging by how much it’s been panned. Then once I saw it I found something that unlike TRANSFORMERS was actually watchable. The IMAX 3D experience was plain awesome. From the eye candy all the way to the music (when Rinzler first showed up, Castor’s introduction and the lightcycle chase especially) I had a blast. I know being inebriated probably helped but nevertheless I will be seeing this again. Can’t say I did that with any of my last IMAX or IMAX 3D movies (AVATAR and INCEPTION).

  74. I was stunned to sit through this for about 2 hours thinking it was awful only to really enjoy the last 25 minutes and to retrospectively change my mind.

    I think visually there’s so much going on that my head hurts, and it was sooo dark in terms of visuals but Jeff Bridges was really enjoyable, and the majority of the characters were actually quite subtly used. I think the music worked amazingly well (the track Sea of Simulation is wonderful). I even liked CLU – sympathy for a wee computer man.

    To Red I will say this, the computer world was always in different domains
    (the Game Domain, the city that lights up at the end, the mesa where the MCP ‘stood’)
    and these appeared to be separated by ‘deserts’ or wilderness, just like Legacy.

    And don’t get me started on how hot (and good) Olivia Wilde was. I would never have thought of her as looking innocent but she really did to me. Even her expression on the bike was amazing.

  75. Just saw it, loved when Quorra says”Vern” is her favorite author.

  76. Just saw it and lost my Digital 3D virginity. I think the movie is okay. A worthy successor, just because it has the same pacing problems. It gets extra points for being the first pure balls out SciFi movie, that I’ve seen in years, maybe even more than a decade!
    And of course the score, while already pretty cool on CD, is fucking awesome within the context of the movie and blown through a theatrical sound system.

    The 3D doesn’t really seem to work for me, though. I could see some extra depth and things popping out from time to time, but I really noticed that my almost blind eye prevented me from seeing every 3D effect in its full glory.

  77. Congrats to Daft Punk for winning Album of the Year and Record of the Year (for “Get Lucky”) at the Grammys tonight.

    You gotta love that shot of those guys hugging it at the end there. Wearing masks, its amazing how body language can still convey so much emotion.

    Good for them.

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