If you grew up in India in 1980s – 1990s, you would remember the early days when video games were played on TV by connecting old fashioned VCR like devices and the games were very simple with a digital soundtrack limited to beeps and pings. With the electronic revolution, the world of virtual reality and games have exploded to billion dollar markets comprising of multi-player, virtual reality worlds where millions of people escape on a daily basis to seek adventure and entertainment.
But back in the early days, when cellphones were not even on the horizon, a lot of people thought about artificial intelligence/computers turning on humans to attack and dominate our world. This became a theme of so many movies made in 1980s – including the Terminator series.
In July, 1982, Tron made its debut release. The movie featured a software programmer Kevin Flynn going inside a computer mainframe and battling his way against malware – in the end, to escape with help of a security program called Tron. The movie had moderate success at the box office, but as the world of virtual reality developed with time, it became a cult movie and generated a niche of fans that loved its futuristic premise.
|Producer||:||Sean Bailey, Jeffrey Silver, Steven Lisberger|
|Screenplay||:||Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz|
|Story by||:||Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal|
|Music By||:||Daft Punk|
|Production Companies||:||Walt Disney Pictures, Sean Bailey Productions|
|Distributed by||:||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
November 30, 2010 (Tokyo)
December 17, 2010 (US)
|Starring||:||Jeff Bridges (Kevin Flynn / Clu), Garrett Hedlund (Samuel “Sam” Flynn), Olivia Wilde (Quorra), Bruce Boxleitner (Alan Bradley), Michael Sheen (Zuse / Castor), James Frain (Jarvis), and others…|
And so almost three decades later, Disney released a sequel of the film called Tron: Legacy. Although cleverly marketed to target the fans of the virtual reality gaming world, the film was a good entertainer, and recently when I watched it, I thought it worthwhile to share my views on this film on behalf of Team Thinkerviews…
The movie starts in 1989 – seven years after the original film, with Kevin Flynn making progress in leaps and bounds in the world of digital gaming. He tells his young son Sam that he is close to a miracle. But, soon after he disappears.
Sam grows up without a father. He is brilliant but drifting through life with no real purpose or interest in his father’s company Encom where he shows up only occasionally, and only to play
pranks on the board of directors.
When his father’s best friend Alan comes to Sam with news that he received a pager message from Kevin’s old office number, Sam goes to Flynn’s Arcade – the gaming gallery his father owned, just out of curiosity. Before he knows though, he is sucked into the world of virtual reality.
In this world called The Grid, the programs rule and there is only one rule – Survive.
As Sam battles with a program called Rinzler, he gets injured and bleeds. The programs identify him as a User and bring him to the master of the place – a program called Clu. Clu is a digitised version of young Kevin Flynn, and is following religiously his brief – to create a perfect system.
Soon enough, Sam discovers that it was Clu who sent the pager message in a hope to open the portal between the two worlds, so he can go out and rule the human world.
So where is original Kevin Flynn? What happened to him when he disappeared? He was the creator of Clu and The Grid, so why has it turned on him?
The only way to get the answers and to get to the end is to play the Game…
It is never easy for a sequel to be universally appealing, as those who are fans of the original film, go in with certain set expectations and those who go in with no background, may not get all the contextual references. Tron: Legacy does a good job of giving you just enough of the background to set the stage but doesn’t draw too many references from the previous film to make it un-understandable. It spends the first few minutes in the real world while we get to know Sam Flynn, but soon enough we are in The Grid.
There is not much to be said about the storyline or character development, or dialogues which are predictable and some time out of place. But these are not the USP of this movie. The story and characters are just enough to make possible the world of digital reality with its super-sleek lines, lighted costumes, glossy visuals and gaming stunts possible only in the digital world. There were more than ten companies involved in designing the special effects for this film and you can see why.
As most of the film takes place in this computer world inhibited by programs and isos, there is no sunlight. It is no easy task to make this world appealing without any natural features like sunshine or greenery. Actually, there is really not much colour around here, unlike the 1982 film which was praised for its cheerful colour pallet.
This movie holds its own though and wins on the visual effect side. The electronic soundtracks are very fitting and help with the movie experience of being caught in this world of speed and motion with thrilling chases including bikes, light cycles and more. The chases keep the flow going and with some predictable twists and turns, we get to the end which is as close to happy-ever-afters as possible.
All the actors do their jobs and provide entertainment, but there is no standout performance expected. They do imitate the movements of the electronic figures very well though and do a credible job of morphing from humans to gaming characters.
All in all, an entertaining escape into sleek world of digital reality for all fans of gaming…
There is also an animated series called Tron: Uprising, if you like this film and want to continue with the experience…
Around 7.5 out of 10.
Over To You:
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