4YE’s Big Movie Binge: Tron: Legacy (2010)

Credit: Disney

The movie industry is saturated with sequels. In fact, many of the films that fill summer theaters are sequels or part of a franchise. The “sequel” is a bit of a crapshoot, though. Unless the film is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there is no guarantee that it’ll be any good. Sometimes the film is. Other times, not so much. (I’m looking at you Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom)

Tron: Legacy is one of those sequels that are pretty good. No, not pretty good. Tron: Legacy is fantastic. The CGI is beautiful. The story is a bit more coherent than Tron‘s and it certainly made the almost thirty-year wait worth it.

Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), ENCOM’s CEO and wunderkind, goes missing in the mid-eighties, leaving behind his son Sam (Garrett Hedlund). Sam is reckless. He rejects the CEO-ship left by his father when he comes of age to take over the company. He rejects Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), Kevin’s best friend and the man who created the Tron program in the eighties. He simply drifts.

When Alan gets a page from Kevin’s old arcade number, he sends Sam to investigate, thinking that Kevin has reappeared. However, at the old arcade, Sam is pulled onto The Grid. The Grid, a digital frontier to change the human condition, is the world inside the computer. It is populated with programs who were created by Kevin. In the time that Kevin’s been missing, the Grid has descended into chaos. At the helm is CLU (also played by Bridges), a computer program bent on ridding the Grid and eventually the world of imperfections.

The CGI for Tron: Legacy is amazing. It is perhaps the most beautifully realized world I’ve ever seen in a Disney film or a sci-film. Period. If the inside of a computer were to have a look, this is exactly it. The world is sharp. Black and sleek and backlit with neon colored lights, it’s a sight to behold. In fact, the moment when Sam sees the Grid for the first time is the most magical moment in Disney cinema hands down.

Another great scene is when Kevin finally comes back onto the Grid after hiding in the Outlands for over twenty years. The scene is electrifying. The score (which was written by Daft Punk, by the way) changes to this heavy bass music that signifies that Kevin is the Creator of this world. It still gives me chills to this day.

Besides the CGI, the script for Tron: Legacy is much stronger than Tron‘s. There are still some issues with it. I won’t lie. There are a few plot holes that are hard to ignore. Like, how Kevin survived for over twenty years inside a computer, for starters. If you overlook those details, Disney pulls out the stops and delivers a worthy addition to the Tron franchise. It’s a film full of heart, great performances, great music, and a wonderful story.

Shelby Arnold
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