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Tron sequel will leave legacy

It’s eleven at night. It’s raining. I’m tired because I have just checked out of my dorm room, walked around California Adventure, and still have a few assignments left to do despite being utterly sleep-deprived. These are the conditions under which I went to go see the latest Disney release, Tron: Legacy. I was happy waiting in line with one of my best friends, but I still had this nagging worry that the movie I was about to spend the next few hours watching was going to have the worst dialogue and story line imaginable...I was wrong.

The original fans

There were few people in line with my friend and I, and those that were in line were over thirty years old. This would be a strong indication that they were fans of the first movie when it came out in 1982. The first Tron film was originally shot in black and white, then “painted” over with animation. It was known to be one of the first films in cinematic history to have extensive digital effects.

New effects

As everyone expected from the various trailers that have come out this year, the special effects of Legacy are beautiful. Clean-cut and sharp, the style with the effects team has given the film is unique and very well done. The 3D effects were also up to par, even though some of the film was originally shot in 2D. While everyone was expecting the light cycles to be great, I was more impressed with the Disc Battles. The fight choreography and pace of the action within the games were more interesting and exciting than they were in the first film.

While the film is indeed visually stunning through special effects as well as quality cinematography, the script is surprising solid too. Like most sequels to films, you have to see the first one in order to gain an adequate amount of background information as well as character familiarity. Knowing that this movie was coming out, I rented “Tron” on Netflix back in September and actually really liked it.

Solid underpinnings

The story line and dialogue were better than what I thought they were going to be. The script was able to show the character’s personalities and traits through action and good dialogue. The beginning of the story made me care about Sam Flynn and his relationship with his father, which sets up the rest of the plot. Garrett Hedlund and Jeff Bridges delivered impressive on-camera chemistry as their pivotal characters.

There is some criticism among the film reviewing community that Jeff Bridge’s character goes “too far” with the Zen persona. However, given the context of the character and film, he is supposed to be a little “out of it.” Within the Tron world, a few hours within the computer only equals a few seconds in the real world. Given that Kevin Flynn, Bridge’s character, has been in the computer system for twenty earth years, that would be equivalent to over a hundred years within the program. So yeah, I’d be a little whacked out too.

Even though the film has a lot of action, it does not have an empty purpose behind it all. When the characters are running from danger and fighting with their Discs, I was genuinely worried for the characters’ safety. Yet in the “down” times of the action, the dialogue pushed the story forward and rounded out the characters.

Critical reception

While different people have their opinions of what makes a “great” movie, with all the lame reviews this wonderful film is getting, I can’t help but ponder the horrifying possibility that all the shallow stories out there have desensitized the viewing public. Have we so come to expect flat characters and simple stories that when a film like this comes along, it tastes so foreign, we spit it out?

I honestly think Tron: Legacy is one of the best films I have seen within the last six years. This release as well as other recent Disney releases have given me hope that Hollywood is finally returning back to character-driven stories with solid plotlines. I hope this will be a continuing trend.

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