It’s a sign of my age that I recall seeing the original movie Tron when the effects still looked advanced. And that we owned the table-top version of the Tron video game. So I was very interested in the new movie Tron: Legacy, hoping it wouldn’t be a disappointing jumble of style over substance.
No worries, mate. I found the movie satisfying and enjoyable on every level. The eye-popping (literally, in 3D) special effects were astounding. A quantum leap from the old special effects — not surprising — yet truly engrossing to the point I bought into the plotline and stopped wondering how they did all the incredible things.
Engrossing action sequences? Check. Compelling storyline? Roger. Good enough acting to span the technology? Affirmative, right down to great use of facial expressions. (And I couldn’t take my eyes off Olivia Wilde, but that’s beside the point.) It’s a wild ride, and at times I was a little bit lost, but it was marvelous all the way. (And, as my brother points out, props for the inclusion from the original of Bruce Boxleitner, who deserves the visibility.) To think that the original Tron preceded the Internet as we know it and yet presaw it, in a way, is pretty amazing.
Leaving the theatre, we heard this conversation:
Teen #1: So I don’t get why they called it “Tron.”
Teen #2: Cuz it’s based on a 1980s video game called “Tron.”
Er, not exactly. Kids today should know that, once upon a time, moviemakers didn’t just take a popular video game and make a movie as a brand extension. People once created movies based on original, visionary ideas! So, in a way, Tron: Legacy is a throwback as well as an envelope-pushing work of movie magic.