I went into this expecting to be disappointed. Almost every review I’ve read has been pretty disheartening, pointing derisively at the lifeless dialogue, soulless performances, and lack of a good conclusion. Still, also in almost every review there was praise for the visuals and sound. That’s all that was really being hyped to begin with so there wasn’t much surprise there. It was enough to get me into the theater. I think lowering my expectations was the best thing I could have done.
Tron: Legacy, once horribly titled TR2N, is a sequel to a movie that came out almost thirty years ago, which was a box office failure in its time. It’s become a cult-classic since, mostly among computer nerds such as myself, although I didn’t see it until six years ago and didn’t think very much of it then. The technology was revolutionary for its time but not mine. Now, for some reason Disney thought it would be a good/profitable idea to bring it back to life with state-of-the-art 3D CGI. The nerds rallied to the call. Of course they weren’t really Disney’s target audience anymore, so it couldn’t really be all that we wanted it to be. Still, getting Jeff Bridges to reprise his role was definitely a good move, and grabbing Olivia Wilde, one of the hottest hotties around, didn’t hurt at all.
I don’t remember much about the first movie aside from Flynn (Bridges) getting transported into the digital world and battling it out a little. There was a bit of a refresher in this one, but I think most of the events described occurred in the intervening years. We learn that he’s been trapped in The Grid and his digital doppelgänger has become Hitler. His son Sam, having not known of his father’s plight for so many years, has assumed that he was abandoned, but doesn’t really show the usual symptoms of that kind of complex, instead roguishly following in his father’s footsteps to make software free for everyone. Well, not really footsteps, more like badass motorcycle tracks and semi-parkour moves. Gotta keep the action going! So he gets beamed into the Grid, meets the evil Flynn (Clu), his dad, and Olivia (Qorra). He then figures he can save the day and goes at it. There are lots of awesome disc-battles and light-cycle chases, even a flight combat scene reminiscent of the “Don’t get cocky” scene from Star Wars. There’s also some dialogue I guess. Stuff happens. Big finish. Strangely illogical conclusion. It’s over.
As expected, it really was just an effects fest basically. It’s a very stylized movie, and with updated technology it’s just simply gorgeous (almost as much as Olivia). The Daft Punk score is extremely enjoyable, and their cameo is kinda cool too. There were a few nerdy bits here and there, like using actual UNIX commands in an old terminal (although it shouldn’t have been a touch-screen). Jeff Bridges got to be The Dude every once in a while which always got a laugh out of me. The guy in the lead was alright I guess. Olivia didn’t have much of a role aside from being incredibly beautiful, and I’m perfectly happy with that. The biggest problem was probably the digital Bridges when depicting Flynn; I can handle him as Clu, because Clu is a program, but the valley was very uncanny otherwise. All in all though it wasn’t as bad as the critics are making it out to be, and the pros outweighed the cons, I think. Good show.