Tron Legacy

I was in a mild state of anger when I saw the original Tron at one of the base

theaters on Mchord AFB in 1983. I was in the Air Force Reserves, had just finished a

UTA (Unit Training Assembly) and my ex made me mad about something (forgotten

what). So, before going home that night, I went to see this new movie which involved

computers, although I was not that computer literate at the time. I was so angry about

whatever, I don’t even remember if I enjoyed it or not. But eventually I bought Tron on

vhs and have enjoyed watching it every now and then ever since.

Nearly thirty years later and a bit more computer literate, I was quite elated

when Disney announced they were doing a sequel to the 1982 original. Steve Lisberger

returns as producer along with Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner reprising their roles as

Kevin Flynn and Alan Bradley. Tron Legacy would not even be worth watching without

these two primary characters.

It would be advisable for those who are totally unfamiliar with this cult classic,

to check out Disney’s Tron from 82 on either vhs or dvd, and if possible, read the two

part graphic novel Tron: The Betrayal from Marvel. Published just before Legacy’s re-

lease, Betrayal covers the 28 year period of Flynn’s life after Tron right up to the point

where the sequel begins.

Twenty-seven year old Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) is the extraordinarily tech

skilled son of  Kevin Flynn, who without any prior notice or warning, vanished 20 years

ago leaving Sam and the prosperous Encom company he helped to become the world’s

leading video game and media empire. He’s also kind of a rebel, ripping up the city

streets on a motorcycle and causing havoc at Encom by downloading a certain piece of

money making software, then releasing it on the web- for free.

When Bruce Boxleitner’s Alan Bradley, now an exec at Encom, receives a page

from Kevin’s number from the old arcade, he manages to salve Sam’s  radical behavior e-

nough to convince him  to investigate. Sam does, and like his father 28 years ago, is

zapped into the same computer world. Only much more advanced and dangerous. Unlike

Kevin’s chaotic, digitized ride through circuitry and  processors in 1982, Sam’s journey is

instantaneous, which is rather disappointing considering all the high tech special f/x.

Essentially, Tron Legacy is much more character driven than it’s predecessor,

which to some may seem boring. Director Joseph Kosinski carries the story forward

dramatically as well as visually, coupled with a few interesting twists as Sam locates

his dad via a beautiful, soldierly Iso program named Quorra (Olivia Wilde) and un-

fortunately encounters Kevin’s renegade program Clu, who, like the MCP (Master

Control Program) of 1982, has commandeered the “Grid” for his own purposes. There’s

also the added attraction of  British actor Michael Sheen as the duplicitous Castor, the

Grid’s barkeeper whose clean white garb belies his personality.

Three dimensional viewing, like rock n’ roll, is here to stay. At this writing, there

are over 30 movies scheduled for a 3D release in 2011. Exciting for some , nauseating for

others. In Tron Legacy’s case, a clever “Wizard Of Oz” technique was used by saving the

3d portion for the Grid only; a nostalgic throwback to 1930’s Technicolor.
While it probably won’t win any special awards for acting, directing, writing or

even best picture ( not even a nomination), Tron Legacy serves as a strong reminder that

like Independence day, a sci-fi movie can have a good story as well as good special ef-


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I don’t think I had ever been so excited to see a movie. For starters it was directed by Christopher Nolan who has made three of the best movies I’ve