I’m a fan of the original “TRON” (1982). The story followed familiar themes of love, friendship, and greed, but placed them in a unique environment. The idea of another universe existing inside of the computer was one that fascinated me. The thought that a technology could be developed that had the ability to integrate the two was classic science fiction. These two ideas have influenced the way we interface with technology (Second Life, virtual reality) as well as inspired other films like “The Thirteenth Floor” and “The Matrix.”
“TRON: Legacy” (2010) continues the ideas of a computer universe and human integration with technology in a different way. While “TRON” proposed that this universe would view a human “user” as a god, “Legacy” proposes that a “user” would be seen as an oppressor. The shift reflects our modern advances in technology and fears of it outgrowing our control.
The story line in “Legacy” follows the path of the hero’s journey, with the definite “Return of the Jedi” theme of the son saving that father. There’s also an Arthurian feel, with program Clu behaving as Mordred betraying his “father” Kevin Flynn.
The computer effects are stylized, but realistic enough that you are still drawn to the story. The acting is decent, but Jeff Bridges brings a little bit too much of “The Big Lebowski” to Kevin Flynn for me. All in all, the familiarity in the themes were enough to leave me satisfied. I won’t rush out to buy the blu-ray, but if I happened to catch it on television, I’d watch it again.
edit: I completely forgot to mention one of my favorite things about the film – the score! Daft Punk’s electronica inspired soundtrack fit seamlessly, which could also be because unlike most feature films, the footage was cut to the score. This is not the first time Daft Punk was involved in a movie, but I feel that this effort is their most cinematically successful. The added bonus was their cameo appearance that made my fan girl heart giggle with happiness .