Tron Legacy (2010) (part 5 of 7)

Now stay with me, ‘cause this gets a bit puzzling. First, Flynn explains that he brought a copy of Tron from the old system (presumably, the one from the first movie) and he, along with Clu, were supposed to help Flynn build a new Utopia, with Clu under orders to make it perfect. Yes, no way that’s going to bite someone on the ass. Flynn has apparently never watched any science fiction ever.

Flynn continues to explain, saying that as they worked, something unexpected happened. Something called “isomorphic algorithms” appeared spontaneously. Flynn says that, like a flame, they weren’t really from anywhere, proving that he also didn’t pay much attention in basic chemistry.

These things, ISOs, he calls them, were apparently a sentient life form that evolved in the computer system. No explanation is provided for why this happened, except to add to the God parallels in the movie. Flynn explains that these beings were an intelligence beyond our own. He also says they were “…profoundly naive. Unimaginably wise.” And now I want to hit myself on the head with a mallet.

Caption contributed by Wily Badger

Also, they were short and tall, stupid and smart, sexy and Mormon! Okay, maybe that last one works…

Then Flynn really goes off the rails, telling us that somehow the ISO DNA was going to be able to cure diseases, and alter science and philosophy, with every idea man has had about the universe “up for grabs”. Biodigital jazz, he then says. I have no clue what he’s babbling about.

Caption contributed by Wily Badger

Sam, channeling the general audience reaction at this point.

We then see that Clu acted like a bitch and rebelled against God—er… Flynn. He led a little coup that resulted in Tron being killed off screen. Well, having never seen a movie before, I assume he’s dead for good. Right? Right?

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I really don’t want to sound dense or anything, but I just don’t “get” the whole ISO concept. First, I fail to see how intelligent life can just spontaneously happen without a long evolutionary run up. Second, I don’t see why Clu would view it as a threat to his perfect order. Even if he did, surely Flynn could have just issued some master override command to get him to knock off what he’s up to?

But most importantly, I really don’t understand what Flynn is babbling about when he’s talking about how the ISOs would revolutionize everything in the real world. So he’s apparently spontaneously created artificial intelligence. Great. How does that cure disease and change everyone’s views on science, philosophy, etc?

The ISOs are apparently a very important concept in this movie, but the movie doesn’t do a good job of explaining them or why they matter. That’s a real big problem considering that the whole story revolves around them.

Back at Basil Exposition’s place, Sam asks Flynn why he didn’t fight back. Flynn says he did, but for some reason not explained by the story, this only made Clu stronger. I’m sure there’s some Zen thing involved. So all he could do was stay back and hide while Clu wiped out the ISOs. By the time all was said and done, the portal back to the real world had closed, and Flynn was trapped. I’m sure GLaDOS was somehow involved.

Caption contributed by Wily Badger

You’ll need the orange one, too, Flynn.

Sam begins trying to plot to get Flynn out of Dodge. Flynn says he can’t leave, because as soon as he enters the grid, Clu will know where he is and will try to get his disc. He wants the disc so that he can get to the real world, and then it’s “game over”. Now, I would have thought that to find Flynn, all Clu would have to do is send his army to look for the only damn house outside the grid, and… and… wait. Wait. Did he say Clu wants to get into the real world and then it’s “game over”?

Yes. Yes, he did. Apparently Clu’s big master plan is to get the disc and take himself and his little army of programs out into the real world, where they will do evil and nasty things, because our world isn’t perfect. Perhaps not, but I’m fairly sure we could successfully kick the ass of a bunch of programs, even if they were smack in the middle of Seacouver. The combined might of the Amerocanadian military should be able to squash them pretty easily. So, yes, game over, but only for Clu and the Gang.

I am pretty confused here, though. From what Flynn is saying, Clu lured Sam into the game world to use him as bait to bring Flynn out onto the grid. Okay, fine. But if that’s the case, why does Clu spend several minutes trying to kill Sam? Make no mistake, during the light-cycle battle, that’s totally what he’s trying to do. He wasn’t pulling any punches, and if Thirteen hadn’t showed up in the Batmobile, Sam would be a puddle of cubes. If Sam were dead, Flynn would likely hide even deeper in the outskirts of the system, making it less likely that he’d come out and play. So Clu’s actions here are just bizarre.

Meantime, Sam is still pretty gung-ho about the idea of making a run for the portal. Flynn tells him that’s a bad idea, and explains that Clu brought him into the game world so that he’d be another piece on the board, and they’d be forced to make a run for it, thus making themselves targets for Clu. He even goes so far as to say, “The only way to win is not to play.

Caption contributed by Wily Badger

How about a nice game of chess?

Sam bristles at all this. He has a bit of a dust-up with the old man, who then wanders off. Thirteen and Sam step to one side, and she explains that Flynn could just end it all pretty easily, but Flynn would die in the process. Sam gripes and bitches, and announces he’s going to make a run for the portal to delete Clu from the other side. He then stomps off to his bedroom. Yes, it’s news to me that he has a bedroom already, but there you are. I suppose it could be a guest room, though who exactly would be visiting is left a mystery.

As he’s pouting, Thirteen turns up and tells him about “Zuse”, a program who can possibly help him with his little plans. We then go to a brief, and rather oddly placed flashback of Sam and Flynn down at the beach. Flynn, who apparently is the one having this flashback, then wakes up and goes looking for Sam only to find that, surprise, he’s stolen the prototype light-cycle and is heading to town. Sam drives it through the rain [?], and then finds a homeless program [?!], and tells him it’s his lucky day. Sam trades him the light-cycle for the guy’s cloak, and then watches as the guy drives off with security chasing him.

Caption contributed by Wily Badger

“Time to go find some younglings!”

As he walks through the city, Sam comes across one of the Gaga wannabes who stripped him down earlier. She of course also calls him by his first and last name, and apparently knew exactly where he would be. Since it’s raining, she’s carrying an umbrella. I don’t have the energy at the moment to mock just how stupid this rain concept is to begin with, so just make your own punch lines.

Caption contributed by Wily Badger

(insert witty caption here)

Back at Clu Central, his lickspittle is telling him about how they’ve been able to track the light-cycle back to its point of origin. This means the bad guys now know where Flynn is, though given how long they’ve had to find him, this does not speak well of their investigatory prowess. We then have a scene of Flynn telling Thirteen to bring the car around so they can leave. And he’s also now wearing black instead of white, which I’m sure is significant.

Now begins one of the odder bits of the film, as Sam arrives at the End of Line Club. There he meets Castor, played by noted character actor Michael Sheen, who I am sure took the role just so that he wouldn’t have to play Tony Blair in yet another film.

I also have to point out that in a room full of entirely heterosexual pairings, Castor stands out as someone more flaming than a forest fire. He’s constantly flirting with everyone male and refers to Sam as “prettiness”, while basically licking his lips. He’s clearly supposed to some sort of homage to Ziggy Stardust, but I have a feeling even David Bowie would pull him aside and say, “Dude, tone it down.”

Caption contributed by Wily Badger

“Life is a cabaret!”

Castor leads Sam up a staircase, while telling the club DJs to play something different and entertain the masses. The DJs are Daft Punk, for those who care. Meanwhile, the woman introducers herself as Gem. Well, I wondered what had become of her after the Holograms broke up.

Multi-Part Article: Tron Legacy (2010)

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