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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tron: Legacy

I wasn't able to see the original Tron movie when it first came out in the 80s.  My friends who watched it were all so excited about it that I was left so curious of the movie.  It wasn't after a decade or so later that I finally saw it on TV.  By then, the technology used for the film looked dated but the concept of the film remained fresh and futuristic.  I understood why my then teenage friends were so excited about Tron and at the time, I was already using a computer and I could only  imagine how it would be like to get inside the grid and battle those rogue programs.

So I was very interested when I found out that the Disney people decided to come out with a sequel to Tron.  This time I will watch it in the movie house, in IMAX 3D and on the first day screening.

The new film began some years after the end of the first movie.  Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is now the CEO of EMCON and he has developed the perfect grid.  He also has a son, Sam to whom he confessed his latest project he called a "miracle".  Then he disappeared.  

Years later, his son (Garett Hedlund) grew up as the majority shareholder of EMCON but has become so disconnected with his father's business because it has turned greedy.  A "page"to his father's friend Alan (Bruce Boxleitner, the original Tron) brought him back to Flynn's Arcade.  There he discovered the secret room and the console where he repeated a command that brought him to the grid.

Once inside the cyberworld, Sam was outfitted and provided with a data disc.  When he asked what he should do, the leader of the outfitters advised him to survive.  Sam was eventually selected to compete in the games.  He met Clu, a program created by his father to help him create the grid.  But instead Clu took over him and l now wanted to conquer the real world.  Fortunately for humankind, Clu has no means to do this. 

Sam was rescued by a program named Quorra who brought him to his the older Flynn.  He tried to convince his father to leave the place but the old man would not budge.  He was afraid that Clu might find him and get his data disc which contained the secrets of the grid and how to go to the "other side".  This made Sam more determined to bring his father back to his world, but he was running out of time because the portal he used was slowly closing and the only way to get there is to get through Clu and his army.

The movie is a visual treat.  It movie made good use of the film making technology at hand to make the grid more spectacular and detailed this time.  The lightcycle race scene was truly awesome on IMAX 3D. The music of Daft Punk complemented the visuals of the film.

The problem I have with this movie is the story, and that's a big problem.  In the original movie, the objective of the main characters was to stop Dillinger from destroying the computer world with his program.  In Tron Legacy, the objective was to destroy the computer world.  There was too much concentration on the efforts of Sam to bring his father out of the computer world and it is because of this that the movie faltered.  There came point that the melodrama was too much to bear.

Also, watching the whole movie gave me a sense of "I think I've seen this scene before in another movie."  Like that famous club scene where Sam meets up with Castor/Zuse (Michael Sheen).  It was so reminiscent of the part were Neo met up with that guy who was holding the keymaker in Matrix 2.  Daft Punk made a cameo role as the DJs but they eerily looked like the twin ghosts in the Matrix.  Other movies come into mind, like Kevin Flynn with all his Zen moments and hooded garments looked like a Jedi.  And of course the ending, it will either remind you of Obi Wan's sacrifice in Star Wars or that of Bruce Willis's character in "Armageddon."  

Towards the end of the movie, I wanted to say the exact words of Kevin Flynn when he realized who Rinzler was.  I didn't get the exact words but it was something like, "Tron, what has become of you?" 

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