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Movie Review: Tron: Legacy

Saturday, December 18, 2010
I succumbed to my excitement and saw Tron: Legacy on opening night at the St. Johns Cinema. (While the movie is, I'm sure, showing in IMAX 3D for probably $15/person, I saw it on an aging screen in 2D for $6/person and was quite happy with it.)

It's important to do a bit of expectations management before seeing Tron: Legacy. I've seen the original Tron. I remember it fondly and, while I enjoyed the original, it wasn't the greatest film ever made. It was a good film and quite interesting, but not the finest movie to ever grace the silver screen. I'm okay with that. My expectations for Tron: Legacy were simply an entertaining film that explored what happened to the virtual world that we last saw in 1983.

Tron: Legacy (image hosted by neublakc.com

So with my expectations properly set, let me say that I enjoyed Tron: Legacy. While the 1983 Tron revolved around Jeff Bridges' Kevin Flynn and his journey into "the grid", Tron: Legacy explores what happend 20+ years after Kevin Flynn disappeared one night and his son, Sam Flynn, goes to investigate. Sam, of course, gets sucked into the grid, meets up with the villian CLU (a program created in the image of Kevin Flynn to help create a perfect world, and various other interesting characters, including dear old Dad, who was trapped in the grid by CLU oh-so-many years ago. Like the original Tron, the story starts with the games (light-cycles, etc) and then moves to a plan for escaping.

The visuals in the movie were stunning, and not in a distracting way. It really was a beautiful film. They also tried a little harder to create a larger plot and give each character a little more depth, with varying degrees of success. There was humor, solid acting, and a good vision for the film.

However, there were a few things that bugged me. First off, the Encom storyline felt half-finished, as if they started down a path but abandoned it. Then, there seemed to be the obvious attempt to build a franchise around Tron. Nothing bugs me more than that, for some reason. Finally, it really felt like I was watching a re-imagining of The Matrix Reloaded.

Final word on Tron: Legacy? It's worth seeing if you were a fan of Tron and you keep your expectations managed. If you haven't seen the first one, see it before you see this.


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