Tron Legacy

Posted by ron On April - 26 - 2011


Bring on the bad guys! Jeff Bridges does double duty much to our delight in Tron Legacy.

When Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) said, he made a discovery that was going to change every thing from medicine to religion, I thought he was referring to Disney’s attempt to ante’ up the precedent that Avatar had set. After all, the Christmas break has unofficially become the new summer blockbuster season from which, studios try to leech whatever disposable income was left after buying presents in an effort to push new technology that translated to higher movie ticket prices. Case in point, the average ticket in Manhattan was $14.25 before Avatar’s 3-D pushed the price to $20. Nearly a $6 increase per ticket. For a family of three, that’s $60 in the hole before even glancing at the concession stands. So after two years of hype, Tron Legacy was supposed to keep the fires burning for another season. Domestically Tron Legacy did not break boundaries. Via Box Office Mojo, Legacy grossed $172M with a production cost of $170M. Thanks to international and blu-ray sales, Legacy will spawn another sequel. Whether or not it will screen better is cloudy with a chance of backfire.

 

Kevin Flynn had been missing for two decades until Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) received a page from Flynn’s old office within the infamous arcade. Don’t ask why Alan, the creator of Tron, never bothered to look inside the grid but Disney was hoping you’d forget about that egregious plot hole. He decided to tell Kevin’s son, Sam Flynn what he had received and decided to allow him to search for his dad. As Sam followed his father’s footsteps into the grid, he discovered for himself that it’s more nightmarish and less adventurous than his dad had led him to believe. The result was a film that was largely uneven because it tried to be too many things, philosophical, theoretical, spiritual, and action packed.

 

Legacy delivered the visionary world of Tron on an unprecedented level utilizing CGI that the original could never dream to achieve. Deadly discs, light cycles, and light jets equated to multi-level, overly complex and visually stunning imagery that epitomized every gamer’s wet dream. It definitely took Tron to the next level but that’s not where the movie began to ‘derezz.’

 

Much like its predecessor, Tron Legacy tried to push the envelope by integrating a deeper science fiction component to the film. Does total freedom of information require giving up individuality and individual freedoms that western civilization holds dear? The idea of how using information for own personal cultivation brought about imperfection and dyslinear balance was the perfection that Kevin Flynn was looking for but his CLU identity could never understand. Neither could the audience. Like a Philip K. Dick novel, this topic is fret with deep philosophical and socioeconomic jargon that any nerd appreciated. Can it work as a film? Director Joseph Kosinski tried unsuccessfully to flesh the abstract component of Tron Legacy but such deep ideas idea aren’t always filmable especially when your producer was trying to sell toys, video games, posters, and good looking movie stars.

 

Once again, Jeff Bridges continued his streak of brilliant acting. He played both sides of the coin with great panache and sage wisdom. As Clu, Bridges’ CGI-ed youth showed no rust as it represented Flynn’s ego and overachieving will power gone mad. As Kevin Flynn, Bridges’ aged expressions expressed the appropriate vulnerability towards his son as he tried to make atones for his sins both in the real world and the grid. By far, the strongest narrative in the film was the Flynn character coming full circle with his legacy, ambition, and his tragic flaws. When his reach overextended his grasp, he paid the price. Tron Legacy was the ultimate inquiry into the soul of humanity in the modern age. Our bodies cannot possibly live long enough to satisfy the human desire to finish what we started. Is our immortality within the machines we created? A good question worth pondering on the way out of the cinema.

 

If I had to rate Tron Legacy, I’d give it well-aged Bourbon. Lively taste then a subtle after taste that makes you rethink what you had before taking another taste to fully enjoy it on another level.

 

Cheers,

Ron

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Thoughts on Cinema is dedicated to film reviews. An uncompromising opinion on the intellectual, artistic, and entertainment value to the consumer. With rising ticket prices, we dedicate ourselves to present to you content regarding what you should or should not be viewing. -Ronald H. Pollock Founder and Editor in Chief

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