TRON: Legacy, a flashy and fun sequel

By Tappan Parker

Disney‘s first major venture into the 3D world of cinema was with the 1982 blockbuster, TRON. At the time, TRON’s use of computer graphics was cutting-edge, and amazing spectacle for audiences at the time.

TRON follows Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a computer hacker and arcade owner who gets transported into a virtual world he has created. Although things go wrong, with the help of the program TRON, Flynn saves the day and returns home to live happily ever after.

TRON: Legacy, in theaters now, is the sequel to the original TRON and takes place 20 years later. Since his father’s disappearance 20 years ago, Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) has inherited the company his father built. After Sam gets into trouble with both the law and his own company, he begins to look into his father’s disappearance, eventually stumbling across the virtual world his father created.

As Sam is pulled inside this world, he discovers his father has been trapped in the virtual world. Sam finds the virtual world has been evolving and growing as his father stayed trapped within it, and he and his father resolve to escape. They begin a journey across the highly-advanced cyber reality in order to get back home.

Unsurprisingly, the plot of TRON: Legacy gives audiences a standard Disney movie plot. Seasoned with a little deceit here, a quick plot twist there, and, of course, your typical bad boy–gone–good hero and you have a story that lacks a punch. While the film is by no means even close to Oscar worthy, it is a well packaged product of the formula Disney has perfect over the years.

What really stands out about the film – and may even win it some awards – is its visual mastery and musical score. Just like the original TRON, the sequel manages to make impressive use of visual technology. Blending the line between fiction and reality, the special effects used make it seem as though son and father are trapped in a real virtual world.

The movie is very flashy, making use of science fiction-like technology at almost every turn. A lot of the technology is really cool, such as the lightcycles and the disks that programs use in the world to fight. The action scenes are always interesting and fun to watch, especially with some of the new elements added in by Disney.

Some of the most impressive visuals come from Disney though. Disney managed to use graphics to de-age Jeff Bridges face for certain scenes, and the effect works wonderfully. His face, although a little too stiff at times, looks 20 years younger and moves with the fluidity and grace of a man much younger than he actually is. It’s almost worth the ticket price alone just to see what they have done there.

The musical score was composed entirely by the electronica duo known as Daft Punk, known for their hits “One More Time” and “Around The World.” However, this doesn’t mean that the entire soundtrack is littered with awesome catchy techno songs; only one song, “Derezzed,” could really be considered worthy of a club setting. Rather, the score is an intricately composed orchestral piece with central musical themes that manage to set the mood quite nicely for the virtual world.

TRON: Legacy, above all else, is a flashy film that is meant to impress the eyes and the ears. It may get you thinking about how cool the technology is, but it will not get you thinking about how deep the story was. TRON is an enjoyable film, and if you go into it expecting that much, you will come out very pleased with the TRON experience.

Tappan Parker can be reached at [email protected]