Tron: Legacy (2010) (PG)
At first glance, "Tron: Legacy" seems to be a well-executed if somewhat cliche sci-fi kid's movie. It has a protagonist that becomes lost in a land of computer programming and needs to help some of the characters escape a somewhat dictatorship regime. But "Tron" is actually more than it appears. It has much more depth that many people give it credit.
"Tron: Legacy" was not popular with the critics but it didn't make their 'worst movies' list either. It was the middle ground and faired pretty well at the box office. But what I liked about this movie was the attempt to make it a much deeper, borderline philosophical movie. I'm not sure it achieved that, but it tried and make a good effort.
Kevin Flynn has made himself rich and a pioneer (A Steve Jobs character) by creating some of the most innovative video games of the current age. This movie (which is a sequel to "Tron") recounts how Flynn manages to create a virtual world of programming and then disappear. He leaves his son behind, lost at what to do without a father.
Sam Flynn is the hero of the film, played by Garret Hedlund, who does a respectable job. He's not the best hero mainly because of the corny one-liners he has to dish out. Thankfully, the movie manages to not dwell on the sometimes comically written script.
Without going to much into detail about the plot, Sam finds himself inside his father's world. In this world there are tournaments played out by programs to the death (figuratively). If anything, this is what "The Hunger Games" should have based their saga after, because this felt real, while "Games" felt a little too heavy with the angst.
Though it is a kid's movie, it's pretty dark. There are deaths in many scenes and things that certainly are somewhat disturbing, but "Tron" manages to skip around these things somewhat effortlessly.
What really helps the movie, is the surprisingly moving score from Daft Punk. The techno inspired music is really effective.
I really liked "Tron: Legacy", there's nothing that special about it, it's not too exciting, but it's solid all the way through. It's enjoyable and there's more to analyze than you would think. The role of fathers in a family, economy, the quest for perfection, even political statements are made. It's the script that lacks the ability to bring these things to a more forward position.
This movie also has its offenses like reproducing a young Jeff Bridges's face on a body. Sometimes this works spookily well and sometimes it falls flat on its (no pun intended) face.
But "Tron" is entertaining and a good distraction. Michael Sheen appears as a eccentric bar owner and sometimes he can go over the top, but let's face it—it's Michael Sheen....we forgive him.
The motion sequences, like following a motorcycle, are sometimes David Fincher-esque which really helps generate a feeling of momentum.
"Tron: Legacy" is not a perfect ride, it has obvious faults and bumps, but it was a ride that I really enjoyed taking.
Score: 3 out of 4 stars
Posted by Micah Jones