Our guest reviewer, Evan, took to the grid to check out Tron Legacy…And?

Oh my Tron, how you’ve grown. Holy crap, you look good, time has done absolute wonders for you, girl. Look at you you sexy thing, with your sleek design and your shapely curves, girl you ticklin’ me in allll the right places. Sheeeeeit. Anyway, nearly 30 years after its first iteration, we finally see what Tron looks like all grown up. With its immensely expensive bells and whistles that didn’t exist in 1982, which if they did I’m pretty sure by now we would have solved world peace, I can pretty much say without hyperbole that Tron Legacy is a visual and auditory masterpiece.

For the first 20 minutes of two dimensional exposition, we learn that original main character Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) hasn’t been seen for 20 years and Flynn’s son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) finds himself whisked into Flynn’s digital Grid world featured in the first Tron after stumbling into the laser lab hidden in his father’s arcade. It is at this point that the movie achieves a true Wizard of Oz moment; whereas the 1939 feature treats the viewer to a world full of real life color as opposed to a black and white one, Tron Legacy throws us into a fully immersive 3D digital world that meets the native impressiveness of Avatar, and in some ways even exceeds it. The sounds, sets and styling of every inch of The Grid ooze with lush minimalism, if there is such a thing, all in totally eye bleeding IMAX 3D which is truly a sight to behold (and hear). If for no other reason than to experience Tron Legacy as an audio and visual rollercoaster, it’s worth your money. Plain and simple.

But getting back to the plot, once Sam finds himself immediately captured by evil red goons upon arriving on The Grid, he’s thrown into gladiatorial light disc battles by his captors (much like the first movie) while trying to figure out what the hell is going on (much like the first movie). The sequence of light disc battle to lightcycle battle is completely amazing, pushing the technological limits of filmmaking to the bleeding edge with impossible visuals and a breakneck pace that really needs to be seen to be believed. The battles rage for a few minutes and Sam is suddenly rescued by the pixieriffic Quorra (Olivia Wylde, who is absolutely stunning), then the usual sequence of events occurs: escape, chase, momentary solace, reunion, and climactic race to the end. Throw in a contrived double cross and some backstory, and there’s Tron Legacy in a nutshell. So the writing and the plot won’t be winning any awards, but so what. If you’re the kind of person who would complain about such a thing while watching a movie about people getting sucked into video games, you’re probably the same kind of person who complained about Transformers “raping your childhood,” and you should probably get a kick to the crotchal area for being an idiot.

While Tron Legacy doesn’t deliver too many surprises, the movie does actually deal with some pretty heavy topics that would sail over your average child’s head like, I don’t know, genocide? See, the main antagonist, CLU (also played by Jeff Bridges in creepy CGI) – a digital copy of Kevin Flynn gone rogue – is taking over The Grid and has been purging it of its imperfections. Namely, a race of digital denizens known as ISOs that spontaneously appeared on The Grid via some vaguely explained “digital DNA evolution” by Flynn. To boot (hahaha computer humor), CLU is trying to get a hold of Kevin Flynn’s data disc so he can open a portal to the REAL world and start purging it of its own imperfections, probably Scientology, who knows, but Kevin Flynn for 20 years has been playing Mr. Zen Buddhist while trapped on The Grid and not confronting CLU in an effort to tire him out or something, I dunno I didn’t really pay attention to these parts. Regardless, while the plot remains fairly basic and by the numbers in terms of events, it’s pretty heavy shit for Disney.

Things eventually come to a head when Sam convinces Quorra, Kevin Flynn’s protege and apparent The One – she’s the last of the ISOs, shocker – to help him escape The Grid in an effort to delete CLU from the outside. They hatch a plan, is goes poorly, and Kevin Flynn breaks his Zen ways and enters the fight. The eventually resulting lightjet flight sequence to the Earth portal is, much like all the other action sequences, mind bogglingly awesome. I won’t give away the ending, but you can probably guess what happens one way or the other – let’s just say not everyone makes it out alive HOLY SHIIIIT.

Most of the characters get enough screentime, with the exception of one that I felt got completely dicked over: Tron himself. Yeah, that Tron, the other main character from the first movie. Tron appears in some flashbacks in CGI form and is eventually revealed to be one of the evil CLU’s top enforcers – but why or how this happens is never explained and Tron eventually pulls a last minute “I PROTECT THE USERS!!,” double crosses CLU and meets an apparent watery grave. Probably a loose end for another sequel, who knows, but Tron’s presence was pretty weak and should have been beefed up significantly.

Given everything that’s been said about plot versus visuals with regard to Tron Legacy, the question remains, should you see this movie? Well it depends I guess – do you like mind bogglingly awesome visuals that literally make you dig your nails into your seat, and an absolutely amazing score by Daft Punk (and many others)? Are you willing to concede that a Disney movie followup to a predecessor about people living in video games doesn’t have the best writing? Do you like french fries? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I would highly recommend seeing Tron Legacy in theaters. And if you’re going to bother spending the money in the first place, go right ahead and see it in IMAX 3D, it’s truly spectacular and well worth the price for the ride.

Happy viewing!

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