Nov 1, 2017
Tron Legacy (2010) (part 3 of 7)
Moving out to the roof, we see Sam standing at the end of a crane looking down at the world. As he does this, the one security guard the company employs comes out onto the crane. He’s apparently very committed to his job, because rather than just wait on the safe end and call the cops, he starts edging out toward Sam. I have no idea why. I also have no idea why the two pick this time to have a discussion on the ethics of software piracy, with the guard taking the legally and morally defensible position that stealing is wrong, and Sam taking the substantially less valid position that information wants to be free. Sam then confirms that he is indeed the largest shareholder, and then jumps off the crane, parachuting down to safety. Well, more or less.
First, he gets caught on a lamppost, then drops onto a cab. “Hilariously”, in a completely not racial-caricature-ish kind of way, the cab driver speaks with a thick accent and shouts, “No free rides! You pay! No free taxi!” as anyone would under the circumstances. Our “hero” then eludes the cops for a bit before finally being caught. Throwing his arms into the air, he grins and says, “Okay, boys! You got me!”
We then cut to the police station, where Sam is being released. I’m not sure why this is happening. Off the top of my head, I’d think he would be charged with breaking and entering, resisting arrest, theft, vandalism (landing on top of the cab probably did it no good), possible criminal trespass charges, and the reckless endangerment and speeding charges from earlier. Multiple felonies, but he’s allowed to walk free the same night. And don’t say, “Well, he is the majority shareholder, so it’s not a problem.” I bet it’s actually a huge problem. I’m fairly sure there are laws against sabotaging your own publicly traded company, especially when it could potentially cost them billions in profits. He doesn’t own the company or the software. If he wanted it to be free, he should have called a board meeting and had a vote on it.
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This also begs another question: Why did he break into the company? And “Shut up, that’s why,” is not a valid answer. If he’s got any computer skills at all, I’m sure he could have hacked into their servers remotely and got the files from there. Failing that, I’m very sure that waving a wad of money under some hardworking programmer’s nose would have been enough to get them to download it onto a flash drive for him. Obviously, from a storytelling point of view, it was designed to show what a badass he is, and how fearless, and how wonderful, and also what a total dick he is. I mean, if his little stunt wound up releasing a viable copy to the world, that could cost the company billions, and that would likely mean downsizing, which means a lot of people losing their jobs.
So, yeah. Here we have a character that’s committed multiple felonies and done something that might result in a lot of people becoming unemployed. He’s the hero, mind you.
Once he’s released from jail, he goes to the Batca—er… Dumont’s garage. Yes, that’s a reference to the first film. It turns out this is where he lives for some reason. Also, Alan Bradley is here. The two talk, and Sam makes some reference to Bradley acting as a surrogate father when Sam was twelve. So… right. Back to the age thing. The character looked about twelve or so in those scenes, and if he actually was that might make sense, but it contradicts things later and—
Okay, fine. Where was I? Oh, yes. Sam. And he’s about to take off his shirt. Of course, this being the movie it is, it promises more than it delivers, and all we get to see is his slightly bruised back. Bastards.
The two engage in a conversation just so Bradley can tell Sam he got a page from Flynn’s arcade. I didn’t even know pagers were still available, but okay. Why not? Sam waffles a bit, and then decides to head off and investigate.
He gets to Flynn’s old arcade. It’s dusty and musty, and located in what looks like a bad part of town. Why Sam isn’t mugged and bike-jacked within moments is beyond me. But the place clearly hasn’t been used in years. Despite that, the electricity is still on, and all the video games and jukebox power up like normal. Ah, the 1980s. That great decade when things were Built to Last.
Sam noses around a bit, and eventually finds the Tron video game. It’s the same one we all played back in the day. I mean, exactly the same, which apparently indicates there was a movie of Tron in this universe. Sam decides to drop a quarter in, which then falls out and lands on the floor. He notices grooves in the wood of the floor, and figures this must be a secret door. It is, and he walks through.
Now, spoilers here. It’s revealed later in the film that the page to Bradley was sent by Clu, who is evilly masterminding everything. He sent the page as a way of luring Sam onto the Grid. This plan is stupid and makes no sense. First, he assumed that sending the page to Bradley would mean that Bradley would relay it to Sam. Then he assumed Sam would go to the arcade and somehow interact with the Tron cabinet in such a fashion as to find out it was a secret door. Then he assumed that upon finding out it was a secret door, Sam would go inside and position himself in front of the laser beam that would send him to the Grid. There’s about a billion ways this plan could have gone very wrong, and clearly the only reason it really worked was because the script needed it to. It also shows that Clu knows far more about human psychology than he seems to later in the movie.
So yeah, Sam goes through the magic wardro—er… secret door—and gets laser-blasted into the Game Grid. He’s only there a few seconds before an admittedly cool-looking version of a Recognizer arrives. Sam, to his credit, quickly picks up on what’s going on. He protests that he’s a user, is told to shut up, and put on the Recognizer near Duane Dibbley.
The Recognizer lands, and everyone gets sorted. Duane Dibbley is told he’s going to the games. Well, he doesn’t want to die on the gaming field, so instead he commits suicide. Yes, that makes sense. For his part, Sam is muscled over to an elevator and dropped a few stories down into a room full of women wearing shoes that Lady Gaga would envy.
The women strip off Sam’s clothing, and in keeping with the nature of the film, we don’t get to see anything good. They put him into a black bodysuit, and then load him up with armor and a disc before punting him into the game area.
A word now about the outfits the programs wear. In the original version, they were white with quite a lot of red, blue, or occasionally yellow light running through them. In this case, they are generally black, occasionally white, and have very few lights, all of which are white. They look frankly less interesting than the costumes from 1982, and that’s not saying anything good. I think the problem is that in the 1982 version, there was more light, and it looked like it was coming from inside the armor. Here, there’s surprisingly little light and it’s clearly on the surface.
Sam steps into an elevator, which lifts him up into the game grid and to a disc fighting arena.
Sam quickly finds himself fighting in something called “Disc Wars”. We know that’s what it is called, because the audience keeps chanting, “Disc Wars!”
As the fight begins, he starts getting it handed to him. He manages to barely dodge the first couple throws of his enemy’s disc (which looks more like a doughnut than a disc), and basically through sheer luck manages to defeat him. Well, that seems reasonable. I mean, he’s not a trained combatant, and we haven’t had any indication that he does martial arts or anything like that, so he should win basically through luck and guile and not anything like skill.
His luck and guile continue to serve him well, as he gets through another fight easily. Meantime, we see an orange-lined program watching all of this from a large ship, while a lackey kisses his ass. This bad guy is Clu, but we aren’t told that yet, and even though we’ve seen from the trailer that he’s a villain, it’s still handled as a “surprise” when we do find out. Also, he’s wearing a full-face mask for no reason other than to hide his secret identity.
Sam runs around like a twit on the top of the game grid, while the computers controlling everything (which presumably are programs themselves) start to notice that he’s an unknown program. They send in the Sti—Rinzler—to sort him out.
Up until now, Sam, who has no obvious martial arts training, has survived through luck and guile. He has no known combat skills. Yes, he’s clearly in good shape, can ride a motorcycle with some skill, BASE jump, and be a dick, but we haven’t seen that he can handle himself well in a fight against a highly-skilled, well-trained opponent who’s using weapons Sam has no experience with. Well, unless he was on the Seacouver University Frisbee Golf Team. Logically, he should get his ass handed to him.
This is indeed what happens. Rinzler in fact has several chances to easily kill Sam, so clearly he’s just toying with him. This means there’s programs out there who have sadism.exe installed on them. I always knew there was something wrong with Windows Vista.
Up in the ship, Clu has been watching the fight while playing with his balls. Yes.
Rinzler finishes beating the tar out of Sam, and is about to kill him, when he notices some blood. He says, “User!” in a voice that’s very obviously (spoiler) Tron. Yeah. The fact that, like Clu, he’s wearing a full face mask is something of a giveaway. This alerts Clu that something is up. Apparently, he didn’t know beforehand. Take that, Mister High and Mighty Master Control Program!