Melissa Bradley, author of Maxie Briscoe: Werewolf, Encore Performances and Michael's Keeper, brings you todays guest post with a review of Box Office Hit Tron: Legacy - a movie following the son of a virtual world designer who goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed.
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Writers: Edward Kitsis (screenplay), Adam Horowitz (screenplay),
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde
When we first meet our hero, Sam’s acting out. He breaks into company HQ and steals a prized program in an elaborate stunt worthy of Mission Impossible. After releasing the program onto the Net and thus foiling the evil board members, Ethan Hunt er Sam is chased onto the roof by an overweight security guard. As a voluptuous creature myself, I was proud of the rent-a-cop for making it up all those stairs, then out onto the construction crane and all without having a heart attack or falling. Mr. Overstuffed Security Guard, you rock! Sam escapes his portly clutches by parachuting from said roof, only to get scooped up by the cops when he crash lands eighty stories below.
Later on, after Sam is oh-so-quickly released with nary a slap on the wrist, Alan comes a-knocking. He gives Sam the requisite what-did-you-think-you-were-doing speech, then tells him that he has been paged from a number that should have been disconnected a long time ago. “That’s impossible,” says Sam. “Oh no”, says Alan and convinces him to investigate. He hands him the Magic Key and Sam returns to the video arcade his father loved. It was great to see the place since I was a fan of the original film. He takes a long nostalgic look then opens the door. Holy electricity Ben Franklin! After twenty-one years, the lights, the games and sound system still work perfectly. My piece of crap cell phone isn’t that old and I have to baby it. Perhaps I should see if my Gordon Gecko brick phone is still lying around the attic. They obviously built stuff to last in the 80’s.
So our hero explores the old digs and finds a secret passage behind the Tron game. Of course. Down he goes and finds a Bat Cave filled with dusty computer equipment that is magically still running. Why isn’t my two year old PC this reliable? Sam accesses the machines, and zap! He is digitized into the Grid where his adventure begins. Rounded up as a broken Program by the crew of a floppy disc looking light ship, Sam is whisked off to the Games, where he’s forced to fight or be deleted. With some wicked f/x and ninja-like fight scenes with lighted Frisbees, he survives opponent after opponent until he’s pitted against the champion, Rinzler. He’s outed as a User and brought before the exalted Clu. After a stilted exchange, Clu vows to terminate him in a Light Cycle duel. Yes!
Sam vows to make his way to the portal, so that he can defeat Clu from the outside and free his father. Quorra helps him by taking him to the virtual cityscape to find a Program named Zuse, who can supposedly help. They become separated and Sam hooks up with Castor (Michael Sheen), the owner of the End of Line Club, a strange place where Programs apparently get their groove on. Seeing the sexual tension and party-like atmosphere made me wonder if my Adobe Acrobat ever made eyes at Microsoft Word somewhere in the CPU. I digress. Here, Sam gets betrayed by Castor, who is really Zuse, and cornered by Clu and his guards. Quorra and Kevin arrive, there’s a big fight, she gets hurt, but the three manage to escape with Clu and his goon Programs in hot pursuit. From here it’s a race through an ocean of virtual landscape with lots of spectacular effects to reach the portal.
I enjoyed Tron: Legacy, but was left feeling hollow. The effects were stunning and pretty to look at, but the story and the characters fell flat. Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde were annoying and one-dimensional. I found myself hoping they’d get deleted.
It was great to see Bruce Boxleitner, but he was underutilized. Jeff Bridges was good, but I felt like there was something lacking in both of his performances. He did not give his all to either Kevin or Clu. The plot was simply thrown together around the effects and had holes big enough to sail an aircraft carrier through. Nothing was really explained even though there were a couple of scenes that were pure info dump.
There you have it, the good, the bad and the WTF. If you venture out to see this, turn off your brain and don’t think about it. You’ll be better off.
Have you seen this movie? What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below!
This review was written by Melissa Bradley, published author and chief editor of Melissa's Imaginarium