Tron: Legacy (2010)

One of the few things that never rang true to me about Tron was that Flynn ends up as a CEO. Luckily, Tron: Legacy fixed that by telling us what happened next, all while keeping up the Tron legacy of being a hyped big deal and then not being seen by anyone except those that it was intended for before becoming a cult film that few talk about — if a $170 million movie can be a cult movie, that is.

Screenwriter Adam Horowitz, who wrote the story along with Edward Kitsistold, told Collider, “For us, it was if we’re going to revisit this movie and try to take it forward, we’re the children of Tron. We grew up on it. It informed us. It really helped shape us and get us excited about the possibilities of technology and film and all that stuff. It’s one of the reasons we’re doing what we’re doing – so in that way its like how can we approach this movie in a way that as writers we have an emotional entry point ourselves.”

The writers and director Joseph Kosinski — who made the Gears of War “Mad World” commercial and who will also direct the sequel to Top Gun — had to answer this question: ” In a post-Matrix world, how do you go back to the world of Tron?”

Where the first film glorified the world inside a computer, this film went in a different direction. To wit: finding the humanity that lives within a digital world.

I love that the first hints of this film appeared when tokens to Flynn’s Arcade were sent out and a site claimed that Kevin Flynn is alive, even though he has been missing since 1989. At San Diego Comic Con, a real Flynn’s was open and a rebooted light cycle was on display. I couldn’t wait until this film debuted with all this hype.

Twenty years after Flynn disappeared, his son Sam is ENCOM’s primary shareholder and he uses whatever power he has by releasing the company’s signature operating system online for free. Even though ENCOM executive Alan Bradley — who is Tron in the other world — approves of this, Sam is arrested.

A pager sends Sam a message to visit the dusty old Flynn’s Arcade, where he’s blasted into the video game grid just like his father. This brings him into conflict with the new MCP named Clu, as well as meeting his father’s apprentice Quorra.

I’m easy to please when it comes to Tron. All I needed was to see Daft Punk — who composed the score — show up as the DJs at the End of Line Club, the same place where original Tron creator and director Steven Lisberger appears as a bartender named Shaddix. And I adore that this movie ends with the digital world coming into our own, while lamenting that this is where the story — for now — ends.

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