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Monday, December 27, 2010

MOVE REVIEW: TRON: LEGACY

In 1982, Walt Disney Pictures revolutionized computer generated imagery with Tron. It was a marvel of technology and a visually stunning masterpiece, long before it's time. Although it was a moderate critical and financial success, it soon fell into obscurity and became a popular cult film. Now as CGI and 3D entertainment have dominated the mainstream film industry (mostly due to the success of Disney films), 28 years later Disney Pictures has released the long-awaited sequel to Tron with Tron: Legacy!
The prologue to Tron: Legacy picks up several years after the original Tron, with Kevin Flynn now billionaire CEO of ENCOM and now a family man, married and with a young son Sam. Then suddenly in 1989, Flynn mysteriously disappears! Now in the present Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) is a mischievous hacker and industrial saboteur of the very company his father owned, which has now become a multi-national Microsoft-esque corporation. Although Alan Bradley, whose role is reprised by Bruce Boxleitner, is still part of the board, and the company is relying on the genius of Edward Dillinger (played by Cillian Murphy, who is surprisingly uncredited and we NEVER see again throughout the whole movie? Perhaps in the sequel?)) the son of Ed Dillinger (the villain from the first film.)
Rookie director Jospeh Kosinski definitely had his work cut out for him in restarting the Tron franchise and with possible sequels already in the planning stages it looks as if Tron will be ANOTHER big Disney box office franchise alongside Pirates of the Caribbean. Tron Legacy certainly references the original film as it recreates the first amazing scenes of Sam Flynn finding himself on "The Grid", being abducted by programs and forced to compete in real-life video games in a very Ben-Hur/Gladiator type of story. I am sure there is a considerable amount of people who went to see Tron: Legacy and have not even seen the original or remember it. But for fans like me who fondly remember and cherish the original movie, Tron: Legacy is like a breath of fresh air as this beloved movie gets a sequel and revitalization.
The whole world of Tron is just as fascinating as it was in the original film with it's original mythos of an entire digital world in "The Grid" and the amazingly original mythology surrounding the whole User/Program relationship introduced in the first film. The duality between the characters of Kevin Flynn and Clu create an astounding plot point in the story that goes beyond the old hero/villain cliche.
For those critics and moviegoers who seem disappointed in the plot and story as it appears to be severely dwarfed by the phenomenal digital special effects, I urge those to look at this movie with open eyes and minds and see all the subtle nuances in this movie which hearkens back to a very classic style of storytelling incorporating the original tale of the mythical hero's journey just as it has been from the tale of "King Arthur" to Star Wars! I am a frequent reader of Harry Knowles' Aint It Cool News and recently saw an interesting recent article by Massawyrm: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/47947 Just check out that article and you will see what I'm talking about.
Tron: Legacy is one of the greatest films I've seen as it takes it's place alongside other great recent films like Avatar or Inception. If you're a fan of the original Tron, I know you will enjoy it as much as I did. If you are new to the Tron Universe. I would recommend watching the original before seeing the sequel but perhaps to the skeptic after seeing it the first time in all its digital 3D glory, go back for a second chance and really watch it, you just might be surprised!
Tron Legacy Official Website: http://disney.go.com/TRON/