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TRON: Legacy

Wednesday, Mason and I went to see TRON: Legacy together. I was nine-years-old when the original TRON was released back in 1982, and Mason is nine-years-old now. So, yeah, full circle and all that.

The original TRON impacted me in many ways. Obviously, the computer animation that TRON has become known for was definitely awe inspiring to a kid that was into computers and video games. But more than that was the world of TRON itself; that concept of thousands of programs interacting with one another without human intervention (today we call that “the Internet”). That concept of living “on the grid” was fascinating to a kid like me back in 1982; today, kids watching TRON: Legacy can’t seem to turn off their cell phones for a two-hour movie. Be careful what you wish for, I suppose.

It’s hard to imagine what it will take in the future to raise the special effects bar, but as far as virtual action scenes go, TRON’s sequel delivers. Just like the original, viewers are quickly thrown into “the games”, where I quickly found myself hanging on the edge of my seat as I watched a bunch of obviously computer-generated light cycles dancing around one another. And just like during the pod racing scene from The Phantom Menace, while logic tells you that nothing you are looking at on screen is “real”, your reflexes still occasionally tell you to duck.

The plot of TRON: Legacy isn’t particularly deep; then again, neither was the original. It wasn’t about that, really — it was about imagining the world of computers from the inside out, talking to programs as if they were people and, even more fanciful, watching how programs interact with one another while human beings (“users”) are away. (In TRON: Legacy, they hang out in digital bars, hitting on digital chicks.)

Both TRON films have plot holes you could drive a light cycle through, but I don’t they weren’t built to stand up to heavy scrutiny; instead, I’d like to think that they were made to entertain, and ultimately inspire. Most nine-year-olds today are familiar with video games, but if movies like TRON: Legacy make them wonder even just for a moment what’s going on INSIDE those video games, or inspire just one of them to put down the joystick and thumb through a programming book … then yeah, TRON: Legacy is definitely a success.

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4 comments to TRON: Legacy

  • I saw TRON Legacy on opening night. A group of us went to a 21 and older movie theater to avoid exactly what you mentioned… kids with cell phones, jumping around and not enjoying the movie.

    Your review of TRON Legacy is spot on. Did you see the 2D or 3D version? Also, has your son Mason seen the original TRON? and if so, what did he think of it?

    I’m looking forward to adding this to my DVD collection once it’s released.

  • Rob

    We saw the film in 2D. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the 3D experience. The film is still showing here in both 2D and 3D, so we might take the kids back and try it in 3D.

    Mason watched the original a couple of weeks ago and liked it. I’m not sure he “got” it all, but I’m not sure I did back then, either.

    And yeah, this is definitely a Blu-Ray purchase later on down the road. It should give both my television and my subwoofer a workout!

  • I finally got a chance to see the film yesterday afternoon. I really enjoyed it. Saw the 3D version. I was wishing they would’ve pulled the plastic off all those arcade games at Flynn’s, but there really wasn’t a reason to. I liked when Journey blasted from the speakers at Flynn’s, and the effects were great. It was a fun popcorn movie. Made me want to dust off some of the old Atari and Intellivision Tron games and give them a spin.

  • Comrade

    I really enjoyed it. I don’t think anyone was expecting it to be the next huge blockbuster hit; it was a sequel to Tron. I thought it was an excellent sequel to Tron, best sequel to Tron I’ve ever seen, as a matter of fact.