Cyberpunk Review » Tron: Legacy

December 21, 2010

Tron: Legacy

Movie Review By: Mr. Roboto

Year: 2010

Directed by: Joseph Kosinski

Written by: Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (story & screenplay), & Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal (story)

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

Key Cast Members:

  • Kevin Flynn / Clu: Jeff Bridges
  • Sam Flynn: Garrett Hedlund
  • Quorra: Olivia Wilde
  • Alan Bradley / Tron: Bruce Boxleitner
  • Rating: 7 out of 10

    Flynn overlooks the Grid

    “The Grid. A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they traveled through the computer. Ships, motorcycles. With the circuits like freeways. I kept dreaming of a world I thought I’d never see. And then, one day… i got in.” - Opening lines spoken by Kevin Flynn (Bridges)

    Overview: Thirty years is a lllllllllloooooooooonnnnnnnnnnggggg time to wait between movies in a franchise; Lots of changes happen in such a time period, especially in technology. After a concept “trailer” for Legacy was leaked to the nets after appearing at ComiCon 08, Disney gave the sequel the green light. Was it worth the effort?

    Visually, Legacy makes the original look obsolete thanks to the past thirty-year advancement in computer and cinema technology. The storyline probably could be better, though the concept of one’s vision of Utopia being usurped in the name of godlike power still makes for some good cyberpunk fare in a virtual world.


    The Story: Since taking over Encom in 1982, Kevin Flynn (Bridges) had been dividing his time working on “The Grid,” running Encom, and raising his son, Sam. Then he disappeared, leaving Encom in chaos and Sam without a father. Alan Bradley (Boxleitner) receives a page from Flynn’s Arcade which had been shut down twenty years ago. Sam goes to the arcade and discovers a secret lab in the basement, complete with the digitizing laser that sent Flynn into the Grid. Sam activates the laser and is uploaded into the Grid himself. After being made to play games, he finds his father, who explains why he was stuck in The Grid… and the tragedy caused by Clu.


    Eye and Ear Candy. As mentioned before, the advances in computers and movie making has given Legacy a vastly superior visual look. Gone are the clunky looking gray “armor” suits with post-production rotoscope effects in favor of skintight leather/latex jumpsuits with embedded lights. The Frisbee “identity disks” are now chakram-style rings. Light cycles, recognizers, … everything now has a sleeker, updated look. They look more like real models relying less on computer generation… but then again… can you tell the difference?

    Flynn - Clu

    Even Jeff Bridges gets a CGI “facelift.”

    Also, the movies was shot entirely in 3D as opposed to being shot in 2D and converted post-production.

    Daft Punk rocks the data block.

    At the End of Line club, you’ll get some brief glimpses of Daft Punk rocking the data block. You can hear their music throughout the movie… that’s assuming your ears haven’t been blown out by the extra-loud crashes and explosions.


    Conclusion: Comparing Legacy to the original would be like comparing a modern, quad-core multi-gigabyte machine with a terabyte hard drive and NVIDIA graphics (no offense to ATI fans) to the original IBM PC model 5150. Comparing it to the more recent cyberpunk fare, Legacy is certainly better than what has been coming down the wires lately. Any cyberpunk fan should see it if just for the eye candy, maybe for the story too. Tron fans will definitely want to see Legacy.

    Do us a favor Disney: If you’re going to do a Tron 3.0, don’t wait another thirty years. Some of us may not be around to see it.

    Olivia Wilde as Quorra

    This post has been filed under AI (no body), Cyberpunk movies from 2010 - 2019, Hot Cyberchicks Kicking Butt, 7 Star Movies, Cyberpunk Theme, VR Movies, Movie by Mr. Roboto.


    December 21, 2010

    SSJKamui said:

    Interesting Review.

    I found it interesting that one Character of the movie is named “Zuse”. Cool allusion. (Maybe, it’s also an allusion to the article “Calculating Space” by Konrad Zuse which coined the theory that our reality is an automata created “Virtual Reality”. I actually wanted to post a review of this paper in the Forum today, but I will include a passage about the possible allusion in my review.)

    December 22, 2010

    Sniper said:

    As long as they make no more games like they did, I can watch the movies.

    December 24, 2010

    Icarus said:

    If you see this in non-3d, it quickly becomes 6 of 10. With 3d, maybe 6 and a 1/2 out of 10. Its not the first cpr review I’ve disagreed with though.

    It might have been 10 of 10 if it were non-stop daft punk and non-stop gaming action in high def 3d. As it stands, parts of the movie play like an asynchonous music video. The dialogue in many places is sort of forced, or doesn’t flow between scenes. Many concepts and settings aren’t given much explanation. Scenes, concepts and settings that would have been neat to see more of are only merely brushed on. Just my thoughts on the matter.

    crackpot said:

    they could have expounded a little more on what happened to Tron, he seemed kind of marginalized

    December 26, 2010

    deadmovie said:

    I think the original one is much better, yeas it has no CGI but at least it has a character development. Damn Hollywood!

    December 27, 2010

    gridliner said:

    The mocap lip sync was off on the 3D flynn. The storyline and acting could of used more depth too, but it was worth watching..

    I think the choice of actors and the refinement do to production costs are the hold backs IMO..Like the son was that cheesy actor from Operation Takedown and the ISO is the girl from House..

    gridliner said:

    to add to above^

    Which both came off generic..

    December 29, 2010

    David/rivethead1982 said:

    I agree with the 7/10 rating. Overall, the film turned out much better than I expected. There could have been more depth to some of the characters, but in comparison to most movies of 2010, there was plenty of depth. Good movie. Good enough for me to purchase the Tron: Legacy dvd when it’s released. Great review too.

    January 2, 2011

    Anonymous said:

    nice.. was wandering if i need to spend moneay on this

    January 5, 2011

    Sven said:

    I fully disagree with the rating. Yes, the music was great, but the review claims “The storyline probably could be better,” - what an understatement. I would have been fine with an average off-the-shell plot but “Tron:Legacy” didn’t even manage that. The storytelling technique was abysmal, not even one character was even slightly interesting. Even if the Grid had crashed and everyone died, I wouldn’t have cared a bit. The plot twists were blatant obvious and the characters had as much personality as a electron microscope image of a pure NaCl crystal. If you ask me, don’t waste your time and money on this ghouly reanimation of a true classic film.

    January 11, 2011

    Wirez4Veins said:

    I saw this movie in 3D the other night, an immediately recognized the themes as Cyberpunk which, naturally, immediately peaked my interest in the film.

    February 15, 2011

    KBlack said:

    Roboto, wasn’t the movie shot partly in 2D and partly in 3D? I saw it at IMAX and there was both.

    March 7, 2011

    Blur13 said:

    Fake Cyberpunk trash!

    The original is much better - It was a gross oversight of Disney to overlook it as an outdated embarrassment, to be plucked from the video-store shelves… Does anyone else realize that a great deal of the original’s art direction was executed by none other than Moebius? The 70’s graphic novelist who pioneered the cyberpunk aesthetic on the pages of magazines like Metal Hurlant.

    Although both versions of Tron offer a misguided, simplified, and confused look at the overarching themes of Cyberpunk - The original can be looked to for some truly outstanding and creative visuals, from a true master of the genre. I’l take that any day over the
    CGI-ed mundanity of Legacy.

    July 24, 2011

    Jonathan said:

    Yeah, well,
    I pretty much second all the destructive criticism.
    However, I wonder that nobody complained about the one core trait Tron ever had: visuals.
    In the 1982 film they were groundbreaking - not only in terms of technical innovation, but stylistically groundbreaking and up to this day, unmatched.
    Tron Legacy design = cliche.

    Also, this site is awesome.

    June 20, 2012

    Adam said:

    Tron: Legacy felt like an exercise in special effects… except the effects were pretty poor. The CGI was average, which is a problem since the film relies so heavily on it. CGI Flynn looks like a CGI Flynn. The suits with the neon lights in them look like suits with neon lights in them. I like the atmosphere that the movie creates, but the quality of the visuals doesn’t allow it to truly come alive.

    The original was notable for its dramatically different visual style, and despite its age, I think it still works really well. But more importantly, it had a compelling story and characters that you actually cared about. That’s the biggest problem with this movie. The story sucks. It feels like any other mainstream action flick.

    Watching it was a chore. I was surprised by how boring and average it was. “Mundane” is indeed a good way to describe Tron: Legacy.

    September 8, 2012

    Yogen said:

    I don’t know why people liked the original better, the “story” was pretty simple and there was no feel of a real world, I mean, it was all just empty spaces, and the characters were just meh.
    Legacy is good, great visuals (of course, is new), and the characters are good.

    November 2, 2012

    Rosa Tinyteeth said:

    The Dude throws out a couple of Lebowski-isms with, “End of line, man,” and, “You’re messing with my Zen thing, man.” Every other thing he says in Legacy ends in “Man, man.” Flynn, Sr’s. apartment looks a lot like astronaut Dave Bowman’s alien cage from 2001: A Space Odyssey. INMHO the soundtrack is too overpowering and not up to par with the Wendy Carlos original. Though it is okay. One plus is the de-rez process. In the original deresoultion was a fade away. In Legacy someone getting deRez-ed breaks into tiny icecubes, or splashes. Good show. That Wilde actress has a really good hairstyle.

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