Home > Movies > What the Flick: TRON Legacy

What the Flick: TRON Legacy

If you’ve never seen The Matrix trilogy before, then allow me to recommend TRON Legacy as a healthy alternative: All the shiny special effects and bogus philosophical shenanigans, but in one-third the time!

I didn’t go into this movie with any great love for the original, although the visuals were impressive for their time. I’m not a big fan of Olivia Wilde. I’d never heard of Garrett Hedlund. But, hey, it had Michael Sheen, James Frain, Jeff Bridges, and CGI Jeff Bridges. It seemed like a recipe for moderately cool, man.

But it wasn’t.

Michael Sheen spent his five minutes imitating David Bowie. James Frain was a reject from Heavy Metal. Jeff Bridges’s Kevin Flynn went from ambitious computer designer to goofy zen master – the Virtual Dude. And CGI Jeff Bridges was just creepy.

I saw the show in IMAX, which at least guaranteed that I got my money’s worth from the impressive light cycle, disc battle, and light jet air combat sequences. But the premise of a race of spontaneously generated “programs” within the virtual world (TRON’s version of midichlorians, I suppose) was just preposterous. That foolishness got trumped later when one of the programs made the transition from virtual to real world.

Kevin Flynn doesn’t want to get directly involved in a revolution because his creation, Clu, is after the info disk on his back. A secondary character mentions later that it’s possible to forge those info disks. One would think that Flynn, creator of this world, would know that. So, when he inevitably gets off his zen pillow and jumps into the middle of the action, someone steals the disk off his back. I smugly suggested to my girlfriend that Flynn probably prepared for that contingency by putting a forged disk on his back.

But no. No, he was just an idiot, allowing his disk to fall into the hands of the enemy.

I also found myself hoping that the real world plot, about the machinations within Flynn’s company ENCOM, would somehow get tied into the virtual world plot. But no. The one sighting of the ENCOM board was just to establish with clunky exposition that the company had moved on from Flynn’s altruistic mentality.

And, finally, there’s TRON himself, relegated in this story to the role of junkyard dog who turns against Flynn and serves Clu until the plot contrives for him to change alliances without any decent explanation.

I won’t call this movie an insult. I think an insult would have required more effort. It’s just a shiny bottle of noise and light. Enjoy the visuals, but don’t look for anything meaningful.

  1. Usicyp
    December 22, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Hi man ihave read your full post and i appreciate yor work.A person has to be your friend to join your mafia.

  2. December 28, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I never saw the original TRON and I don’t get why it has a good fanbase. I’m going to wait till DVD to see this movie or I might just wait till TRON 3 comes out.

  3. March 1, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Anyone have any Ideas for a karaoke Party?

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