REVIEW: TRON: LEGACY

CAST

Jeff Bridges (R.I.P.D.)
Garrett Hedlund (Unbroken)
Olivia Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
James Frain (Gotham)
Beau Garrett (Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer)
Michael Sheen (Underworld)
Serinda Swan (Smallville)
Yaya DaCosta (Ugly Betty)
Donnelly Rhodes (Battlestar Galactica)
Brent Stait (Andromeda)
Jeffrey Nordling (Arrow)
Christine Adams (Batman Begins)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Cillian Murphy (Inception)

Jeff Bridges in Tron (2010)In 1989, seven years after the events of the first film, Kevin Flynn, who has been recently promoted CEO of ENCOM International, disappears. Twenty years later, his son Sam, now ENCOM’s primary shareholder, takes little interest in the company beyond playing an annual prank on its board of directors.Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund in Tron (2010)After being freed from police custody for his most recent prank, Sam is asked by Alan Bradley, an ENCOM executive and Flynn’s old friend, to investigate a strange pager message originating from Flynn’s shuttered video arcade. Sam discovers a large computer in a hidden basement, which suddenly teleports him to the Grid, a virtual reality created by Flynn that exists within ENCOM’s computer mainframe.[6] He is quickly captured and sent to “the Games”, where he is forced to fight a masked program named Rinzler. When Sam is injured and begins bleeding, Rinzler realizes that Sam is a human “User” and takes him before Clu, the Grid’s corrupt ruling program who resembles a younger Kevin Flynn. Clu nearly kills Sam in a Light Cycle match, but Sam is rescued by Quorra, an “apprentice” of Flynn, who conveys him to his father’s hideout outside Clu’s territory.Garrett Hedlund, Beau Garrett, and Elizabeth Mathis in Tron (2010)Flynn reveals to Sam that he had been working to create a “perfect” computer system and had appointed Clu and Tron (a security program created by Bradley) its co-creators. During this construction, the trio discovered a species of naturally occurring “isomorphic algorithms” (ISOs) not conceived by Flynn, bearing the potential to resolve various mysteries in science, religion and medicine. Clu, considering them an aberration, betrayed Flynn, seemingly killed Tron, and destroyed the ISOs. Meanwhile, the “Portal” permitting travel between the two worlds had closed, leaving Flynn trapped in the system. Having gained complete control, Clu sent the message to Alan in order to lure Sam onto the Grid and reopen the Portal for a limited time. As Flynn’s “identity disc” is the master key to the Grid and the only way to traverse the Portal, Clu expects Sam to bring Flynn to the Portal so he can take Flynn’s disc, go through the Portal himself, and impose his idea of perfection on the human world.Michael Sheen, Garrett Hedlund, and Beau Garrett in Tron (2010)Against his father’s wishes, Sam returns to Clu’s territory on Quorra’s tip-off to find Zuse, a program who can provide safe passage to the Portal. At the End of Line Club, its owner Castor reveals himself to be Zuse, then betrays Sam to Clu’s guards. In the resulting fight, Flynn rescues his son, but Quorra is injured and Zuse gains possession of Flynn’s disc. Zuse attempts to bargain with Clu for the disc, but Clu simply takes the disc and destroys the club along with Zuse. Flynn and Sam stow away aboard a “solar sailer” transport program, where Flynn restores Quorra and reveals her to be the last surviving ISO.Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund in Tron (2010)The transport is intercepted by Clu’s warship; as a diversion, Quorra allows herself to be captured by Rinzler, whom Flynn recognizes as Tron, reprogrammed by Clu. Sam reclaims Flynn’s disc and rescues Quorra, while Flynn takes control of a Light Fighter on the flight deck. Clu, Rinzler, and several guards pursue the trio in Light Jets. Upon making eye contact with Flynn, Rinzler remembers his past and deliberately collides with Clu’s Light Jet, but Clu uses Tron’s spare baton to escape while Tron falls into the Sea of Simulation below. Clu confronts the others at the Portal, where Flynn reintegrates with his digital duplicate, destroying Clu along with himself. Quorra, having switched discs with Flynn, gives Flynn’s disc to Sam and they escape together to the real world. In Flynn’s arcade, Sam backs up and deactivates the system. He then finds a waiting Bradley and tells him he plans to retake control of ENCOM, naming Bradley chairman of the board. He departs on his motorcycle with Quorra, and she witnesses her first real sunrise.Tron (2010)TRON: Legacy is certainly the special effects extravaganza it’s been made out to be all year. Its fantastic effects certify the sequel as being the most visually appealing film of 2010. While the writing of the film isn’t quite as polished as the special effects, there certainly seems to be a good enough balance to keep the film afloat and deliver an extremely entertaining way to kill two hours. As far as eye candy goes, TRON: Legacy is an incredible and all around awesome experience.

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REVIEW: TRON

CAST

Jeff Bridges (R.I.P.D.)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Cindy Morgan (Caddyshack)
Bernard Hughes (Da)
Peter Jurasik (Babylon 5)

Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan in TRON (1982)In 1982, computer software engineer extraordinaire and former ENCOM employee Kevin Flynn owns and operates a video arcade called Flynn’s. During his time at ENCOM he wrote several video games and was about to start his own enterprise when Ed Dillinger, a colleague, stole Flynn’s ideas and passed them off as his own, earning himself a meteoric rise through ENCOM’s ranks to Senior Executive VP, and the authority to fire Flynn to cover up his larceny. In the nearly three years since Flynn’s dismissal, he has made attempts to obtain evidence of Dillinger’s crime by hacking into the ENCOM mainframe, but despite his shrewdness Flynn keeps getting caught by ENCOM’s Master Control Program (“MCP”), an AI software program which was originally a chess program created by Dr. Walter Gibbs, ENCOM’s co-founder. But with Dillinger’s modifications, the MCP has become sentient and power-hungry, unlawfully annexing personal, corporate, and even government and military programs, assimilating them to itself to increase its own capabilities; the MCP informs Dillinger of its plans to subjugate both the Pentagon and the Kremlin, and expresses interest in China with its request for Chinese language files, going so far as to blackmail Dillinger himself into compliance by threatening to publicly reveal records of his theft.Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges in TRON (1982)Flynn’s ex-girlfriend Lora Baines and her current boyfriend, fellow ENCOM engineer Alan Bradley, visit Flynn at his arcade to warn him that Dillinger is aware of his hacking attempts and has tightened security at ENCOM. Flynn explains his situation to them and then persuades them to sneak him back into the facility where he forges access for the three. Lora takes Flynn to the terminal in her lab to continue searching for evidence of Dillinger’s theft. In response, the MCP uses an experimental laser to digitize and download Flynn into the ENCOM mainframe, particularly an area the MCP calls the Game Grid, where programs are living entities appearing in the likeness of the human “Users” who created them. Once inside, Flynn quickly learns that the system is under the totalitarian rule of the MCP and its second-in-command, Sark, who enslave and intimidate other programs to renounce their “belief” in the Users; those who refuse are imprisoned in the Game Grid and forced to play in lethal competition against other programs. Flynn meets Tron and Ram as they are about to compete in a Light Cycle match; the three defeat their opponents and escape from the Grid and into the system, but Flynn and Ram are attacked by a pursuit force of game tanks that Flynn himself created; Flynn is only stunned, but Ram is mortally wounded. They stop to rest, but to Flynn and Ram’s surprise, Flynn learns that as a User he can manipulate energy and matter within the system, effectively allowing him to control its environment. With his newfound User power Flynn reassembles a destroyed pursuit ship (called a “Recognizer”). Just before he de-rezzes, Ram begs Flynn to help Tron.Cindy Morgan in TRON (1982)Separated from Flynn and Ram, Tron reunites with his love, Yori (an input/output program created by Lora), and they furtively make their way to an input/output junction where Tron makes contact with his User “Alan-1”, who writes information on Tron’s code disc that will erase the MCP, but only if Tron can get the disc to the MCP’s base. Tron and Yori then steal a “solar-sail simulation” to travel to the MCP’s core and are reunited with Flynn who unwittingly disguised himself as one of Sark’s soldiers; Flynn then reveals to them that he himself is a User. Before they can reach the core, Sark’s command ship overtakes and destroys the simulation, capturing Flynn and Yori and supposedly destroying Tron. Sark alights from his command ship and orders its de-resolution, but Flynn keeps it intact with his User power while Sark reaches the MCP’s core on a shuttle carrying other captured programs slated to be subsumed by the MCP, making it complete. Tron then reemerges and critically damages Sark in a fierce disc fight, prompting the MCP to transfer its functions to Sark increasing his size and power. As Tron repeatedly hurls his disc at the MCP’s base in an attempt to breach its shield and get to its core, Flynn leaps off the command ship into the MCP’s beam, distracting it just long enough to reveal a gap in its shield; Tron then throws his disc through the gap which destroys the MCP and Sark.Jeff Bridges and Cindy Morgan in TRON (1982)As programs throughout the system are once again able to communicate with their Users, the laser that digitized Flynn reverses its function and restores Flynn’s corporeal form, and a nearby printer provides the hard copy proving that Dillinger had stolen Flynn’s creations. At daybreak, when Dillinger enters his office and finds the MCP deleted and proof of his theft now unrestricted, he slumps in his chair in defeat. Flynn later ascends to his rightful place as ENCOM’s new boss and is greeted by Alan and Lora on his first day.Tron has survived the years- more so than many other contemporary SF films, and more than I think most critics would have guessed. Instead of looking out-dated and corny, as the years have passed, Tron has aged gracefully. Sure, the monochrome-screen terminals might look a bit old, and the arcade is a distant, fond memory, but the SFX are still beautiful, and the storyline, in this era of the Internet, seems shockingly modern.