Monday, December 20, 2010

Tron: Legacy

What was the most common thing heard at the movie theater this weekend? “One ticket for Tron, please.” Tron: Legacy is a movie with a very specific audience and though it’s very good, I’m not sure it will achieve the box office numbers Disney was hoping for. It opened at number one, but I don’t think it will last. I could be wrong here, but Tron: Legacy might only appeal to men my age. We remember the original Tron from when we were kids and want to relive it the same way we lined up for The Phantom Menace. I’m pretty sure the dinner-and-movie date demographic skipped this one. That's unfortunate.

Tron: Legacy is definitely worth seeing in theaters, even if you aren’t familiar with the original. I passed on the 3D as I usually do for review purposes. (I’m always afraid I’m going to miss something important when I’m trying to grab the 3D effects.) The visuals were still impressive and nice to look at. However, it didn’t really look all that much like Tron. That’s due in part to the plot which is set up something like this:

Kevin Flynn, the man behind the Tron game has been living inside the grid for 20 something years. His son Sam receives a message from the grid so Sam goes to find him. The grid has changed a lot because Kevin, along with his “program” Clu, have been making nice alterations. So the flat geometric shapes and monotone color scheme have been updated, which is a clever tie in to modern day computer graphic capabilities. And speaking of modern day capabilities, the animators actually make Jeff Bridges look 20 years younger as he did in the first movie. Pretty snazzy. Everything looks amazing, but it doesn’t really feel like a video game anymore. I suppose video games really don’t look like video games anymore either.

Tron: Legacy is also an interesting story, and it held my attention. There’s a new twist to the grid which I found intriguing. The whole idea behind this new character Quorra, played by Olivia Wilde, is clever and thought-provoking. Plus she’s really hot. There are some pretty decent action sequences as well, all using the classic Tron games. Light Cycles, which have been updated, are totally awesome.

The film is very entertaining but you walk away with some questions that can’t really be answered because in no way is this story possible. So you have to suspend your disbelief a great deal and ignore any holes. However, I still have questions. For example, how does one manage to find food and eat it in the grid? Is the roasted pig on the dinner table just a program? If so, does that make it vegetarian?

Tron: Legacy is a great tribute to the original. It’s fun if you don’t think too much about the science behind everything. You also have to appreciate that everything has been upgraded. The suits, the vehicles, and the city itself have all been improved and rendered intricately. The futuristic theme music from the original has also been upgraded… by Daft Punk. So if you’re expecting the Tron you remember, go watch that. This isn’t it. This is better! So see it, and bring a friend!

4 arcade classics

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