Movie Review: TRON Legacy

As covered in a recent article, Nerd Reactor attended a pre-screening of TRON Legacy. It seemed that those that at least showed up 30 minutes prior to showtime was able to make it into the theatre. Although the organizer link mentioned that there would be no lines formed before 5pm, the crowd had their own way or organizing themselves and a make-shift line was created. For those of you there at Downtown Disney, HI! I was the one watching the original TRON on my laptop. 😀

JEFF BRIDGES AS KEVIN FLYNN – One of the most noticeable things of TRON Legacy is that Jeff Bridges will play his same exact “aged” character about 30 years later from the original. This is a brilliant casting choice as only Jeff Bridges is able to deliver the character of Kevin Flynn true to the original. The growth of Kevin Flynn is actually real as ever when Kevin gives into his original instinct of just “gunning it” as suggested by his son Sam Flynn.

– Nuff said. Everyone in the audience was waiting for their appearance in the movie. When they hit the screen, the audience started cheering.  The scenes that they were in were also the memorable ones (you’ll find out why when you watch it). I am glad to say that Daft Punk’s aura can be felt throughout the film through their music. The Electronica of Daft Punk is a welcome addition to TRON from those who remember the bland soundtrack and clunky Atari sound effects of the original.

MICHAEL SHEEN AS CASTOR – Although TRON Legacy was drenched in one-liners and unneeded comedic reliefs, I felt that Castor’s role in the film was one of the few justified reliefs. The flamboyant acting of Michael Sheen hit the spot as a program that would rationalize his actions later in the movie. How the other programs tolerated the behavior of Castor, it cannot be pinpointed but we do know that Castor was somewhat of a big shot, like any other club owner.

ACTION – The original TRON was best known for its “games.” TRON Legacy adds a whole new dimension. For example, the lightcycle is no longer limited to X and Y-axis travel, and there is a whole new addition of multiple floors and ramps to navigate. The ever-so-popular impenetrable jetwall is well alive, but with other vehicles now sharing its attribute. The “gunner” portion of the film also reminded me of Star Wars style action. Imagine Luke Skywalker gunning down Tie Fighters from the Millenium Falcon turret, TRON Legacy will leave you with the same feeling….and cheesyness of the one-liners that follow.

WATCHING THE ORIGINAL – As with any other sequel, the reward for loyal TRON fans is the ability to catch the easter eggs in TRON Legacy. The couch in the arcade was one of those familiar scenes from the original as well as the music played in Flynn’s Arcade, all which are easily missed. The Solar Sailer way of travel was also a tribute to the original movie.

THE EYE CANDY – Olivia Wilde is definitely fresh and so is Beau Garrett. We can all be certain that there seems to be a certain magic when you put on a skin tight garb on a saucy girl. Both the roles played by these “programs” eventually developed traces of human emotion (why?). Gem (Beau) is already breaking from her monochromatic mold when she makes some patchy comments; hence you know there is something special about her. Quorra (Olivia) was also a character anomaly, but her role in the story supports this. Even though Olivia may have tried not to portray emotion or sexiness, nerds around the world are already fantasizing of a Quorra. Austin Powers’ Fembots, anyone? Deadly, but definitely sexy.

THE STORY – The beginning of the movie covered a great deal of Encom history. It was actually interesting to see how much Encom has grown from the original and how it ties with main character Sam Flynn. The entire movie seemed as though it could have easily taken place in its entirety without entering the world of TRON with Sam rebelling against the corporation. The title of the movie, however, would not include the words TRON if we were not going to travel there so of course Sam would somehow stumble his way into the digital world. As exciting as the world of TRON was, the movie momentum seemed to suffer as every nook and cranny of TRON had to be explained. Aside from the action sequences on TRON, the movie will fall into a bland storytelling mode that even the exciting world of TRON wouldn’t be able to energize. This keeps for longer than expected causing the initial excitement from entering TRON to turn into a flaccid bowl of misguided hype.

THE 3D OUTLOOK – The appeal of a TRON sequel was not only due to its long history in nerd culture, but also due to its added extra-dimensional appeal. 3D has entirely changed the game book of blockbuster movies, so for a video game originally imagined in two dimensions, 3D can most certainly introduce the audience to new horizons. The story was great and the visuals were fantastic, but for a potential 3D blockbuster, TRON may not have taken full advantage of its extra dimension. An apparent 3D gimmick trick used in TRON is known as “bokeh” to photographers, where the background is out of focus to place emphasis on a foreground subject. While neat, this party trick seemed to distract from the actual behemoth scenes which actually capture the 3D environment of TRON superbly. I really wished to see more of TRON in 3D, but I felt that the experience was somewhat cheapened by wasted 3D moments.

Please don’t take my word for it and see the movie yourself. If you are a fan of TRON, you definitely cannot miss this next installment of TRON. Although I’ve already seen the movie pre-release, the Nerd Reactor crew will be re-watching TRON Legacy in IMAX 3D on launch day. See you all at the midnight show!

Grade: B-

-JR Cajigas

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JR Cajigas
JR Cajigas 115 posts

JR Cajigas is a foodie by day and...foodie by night. In between meals he is a tech writer and photographer. Yummers!