Tron: Legacy (of awesomeness)
When I saw Tron: Legacy, I couldn't remember the last time I saw the first Tron. I could only vaguely remember the blue circuit motorcycles, Jeff Bridges, and those goofy glowing helmets. I also remember that it was a very long, strange, and even sometimes arduous movie. (What were those guys smoking back in the early 80s???) The first Tron came out in the early 80's. However, for all its weirdness, it was ahead of its time.
Now, we are in 2011. The new Tron begins by explaining that Kevin Flynn, (Jeff Bridges) CEO of the software company that, among other things, created the video game "Tron", mysteriously disappeared in '89. he left behind a sprawling publicly traded software empire, and a very broken-hearted twelve year old son. His son, Sam Flynn, grows up without a father. He pretends like he's over it, but we know it consumes him. He avoids responsibility with the software company because he's "immature". But really, it's because his father issues are unresolved.
Before long, and I know this won't spoil anything, Sam gets sucked into the 80's arcade game "Tron." He soon discovers that for the past 22 years, his father, Kevin Flynn, has been trapped inside the Tron cyber-landscape trying to avoid worldwide catastrophe.
When Sam Flynn inevitably enters the "Tron" world, I was stunned. This is not the early 80's experimental world of hokey and awkward (by today's standards) special effects. This landscape feels more real than ever in the world of modern CGI. It no longer feels like the original Tron. These characters actually inhabit this new cyber world.
There is a God versus satan theme obvious in Tron: Legacy. Kevin Flynn is the wise, all-knowing Creator, describing the Tron world in ways like, "bio-digital jazz, man!" And Clu is the selfish, powerful "devil" figure.
Tron: Legacy is filled with inspired ideas, well-executed story, and Star Wars-level action sequences. We get to see giant "Tron" ships barelling through "Tron world", shooting, dodging, and fighting each other with breathtaking scale. We get to see a hugely amped up version of the Tron cycles, buzzing and roaring around the cyber-plane. And, all these visual effects are basically seamless.
Tron: Legacy may be nothing but a popcorn movie. But, it is an AWESOME popcorn movie! Nerds, sci-fi fanboys, and regular everyday movie goers (like me) can love Tron: Legacy. Turn the lights down, crank up the home theater system, and have a Tron party. Even if you haven't seen the first one in a long time, (or at all), you will still enjoy this one.
rating: 4 of 5