Apr 27, 2020
Tron Legacy (2010) (part 1 of 7)
The Cast of Characters:
Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund). A twenty-something (emphasis on “something”) lay-about billionaire with dead parents. Hobbies include hacking, breaking and entering, and BASE jumping. Despite this backstory, he’s somehow avoided becoming a Batman-esque superhero.
Quorra (Olivia Wilde). A sentient computer program with a fondness for Jules Verne and the game of Go. Childlike and innocent, with an A-Level in Badass. Being the perfect computer woman, she is of course the love interest for Sam.
Clu (Jeff Bridges). Did you know that in the original film, Clu’s name was actually an acronym for Codified Likeness Utility? Yeah, me neither. I bet the producers of that film also didn’t know that. In this movie, he’s trying to take over the real world… or something. For some reason.
Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner). Here’s where I’m expected to make a whole series of jokes based around Babylon 5. Well, I never really got into that series. Shocking, I know. So instead, you’ll have to put up with whatever other lame jokes I can think of. Sorry.
Castor (Michael Sheen). Having become increasingly unpopular since his party led the war against a rival OS, Castor stepped down as Prime Minister, left politics, and took on a new job as the host of the Grid’s most popular talk show, Castor Over the Grid. When ratings declined, he opened a nightclub and began impersonating David Bowie for reasons unclear.
Edward Dillinger, Jr. (Cillian Murphy). Here to remind you who the bad guy was in the first film, and set up a role to be the bad guy in the next film. Serves no other purpose.
Kevin Flynn ( Jeff Bridges). Here’s where I’m expected to make a whole series of jokes based around The Big Lebowski. Well, I haven’t seen that film. Shocking, I know. So instead, you’ll have to put up with whatever other lame jokes I can think of. Sorry.
Rinzler (Anis Cheurfa). Some people say that he’s the one who started the war between pig and bird, and that he’s the reason Pac-Man became a Ms. All we know is he’s called the Stig!
Back in 1982, Disney released a risky, groundbreaking film called Tron. Now, this isn’t the Disney we all know today, who’ve released such movies as: every Pixar film ever made, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and the ever-thrilling The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This isn’t even the Disney that released such films as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. No, this is Disney coming off the ‘70s, which were a dark, dark time for the studio.
See, sometime during the 1970s, they had lost their way. They’d stopped making interesting animated films, and instead began releasing crappy live-action movies like The Cat From Outer Space, The North Avenue Irregulars, and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. In fact, the only notable animated film during the 1970s was the all-furry version of Robin Hood, and even that wasn’t all that great.
But Disney did have one really memorable release during this time period, and that was The Black Hole. It wasn’t all that great, really, and was a bit confusing for the audiences, but it was bold and it was different from what they usually did (even if they did still manage to somehow have a Disney character in the form of a robot voiced by Slim Pickens). The fact that it was clearly done as a reaction to Star Wars was incidental. It didn’t make a huge amount of money for Disney, but it did do respectable box office, and it proved that they could handle adult material.
So in 1982, Disney released another science fiction epic called Tron that would go on to have a far greater legacy (snicker!) than The Black Hole. It featured groundbreaking special effects and… well, it had a story… and some acting… but, yeah, mostly just groundbreaking special effects with a story that was good enough to not insult your intelligence. That alone places it on a plane higher than certain other films I could mention (I’m looking at you, Michael Bay’s entire filmography!).
Tron proved a box office success, and spinoff merchandise (including a memorable video game) helped keep Disney afloat long enough to let them get back to making cartoons, which they did in 1989 with The Little Mermaid.
Since 1982, fans had been asking for a sequel. Well, the studio dithered, and did nothing about that for the longest time (except for a decent, but not great, video game a few years ago). Then they decided that since so many other movie franchises had done so well picking up the pieces a decade or two later, well, why couldn’t they? After all, how hard could it be?