TRON: Legacy

As many of you faithful readers know, my love of movies was developed by my mom, with my dad making the occasional contribution.  With as many movies as Mom took me to growing up,  there were some that she would not go to.  Dad took care of this oversight with Star Wars and James Bond, but even he missed a couple.  I hate that I missed seeing Superman on the big-screen, and that I did not get to see Star Trek either.  Years later, Mom would admit that she thought I was too wrapped up in sic-fi, superheroes, and fantasy, so she thought it best to not encourage those interests any more than necessary.  So I did not get to see TRON when it came out; instead, Mom let me read the book since she always loved me reading books.  So I grew up with images of TRON coming only from the 8 pages of set shots in the book, the arcade game, and my imagination.  As a matter of fact, it was not until this year that I sat down and actually watched the original.  I know that seems sacrilege to some of you, particularly as I reveal having owned the DVD since it came out.  I have no excuse other than I never got around to it.  I enjoyed it, but it didn’t affect me the way it might have when I was 12.

Fast forward to this weekend.  My friend, Ken, and his wife, Amy, invited me to join them for the ETX/3D showing of Legacy at AMC Pleasure Island.  Let’s think about this for a sec: good company, one of my favorite theaters, and a movie I was interested in seeing – no brainer that I said yes.   Ken and Amy beat me to the theater, and thanks to Amy, we got some pretty good seats.  If you have not been to the AMC Pleasure Island lately, they have made some changes.  Stadium 1 (where we were) is now an ETX environment; while not IMAX-certified, certainly a better screen than at the other fake IMAXes and the sound system is very impressive.  Outside of Pointe Orlando’s true IMAX, this is probably the best screen in Central Florida to pay extra for on your ticket price.

Legacy is the continuation of the story of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges).  We find out that he has taken over ENCOM and has led it to major success until he disappears sometime in the 88/89 time period.  His son, Sam, is left orphaned and alone and resentful.  Of course, he chooses to rebel the way all stereotypical movie teenagers rebel: pranking his dad’s company.  What follows is a journey that reunites Sam with his dad while introducing him to the world of the Grid.

What was Good:

  • Effects – This is a visually stunning movie.  Disney managed to keep the look of the original movie without making the effects appear dated.  Everything felt more fluid with more options in this movie than the first – which is a comparison for computers today versus 1982.
  • Legacy – Legacy acknowledges its roots without necessarily being completely trapped by them.  The modification of the original movie poster and the appearance of The Black Hole movie poster were smart nods.

What was not so Good:

  • Story – The story felt weak to me and left me at times with a lack of wanting to root for the main character.  This is because the “why” of the story seemed muddled, lost, or non-existent.
  • Reliance on Previous Movie – Part of the story issues dealt with a bad assumption that everyone seeing this movie will have seen the first one.  While that may be true for some of the viewers, I have a feeling that a lot of people are going into this one cold.  With all of the action sequences, there is not enough space to get out the current story, much less a mini-summary of what happened in the first.  I have a feeling that there are going to be some scratching heads on this one.
  • Lack of Fulfillment – Everything that appears onscreen in any movie can be construed as a promise of its importance.  Cillian Murphy is introduced as the son of the bad guy from the first movie, but is not heard of or seen again.  What a waste of a possible plot-line and actor.

My advice: Boy this is a tough one – it is worth the 3D surcharge; I would say matinee price in general.  It is one to see on the big screen once.  But definitely watch the first one before seeing this one…


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