A Case for Tron & Tron Legacy

Tron Legacy and Tron


The original Tron film was not a box office disaster. Contrary to what has been said, “Tron was released on July 9, 1982, in 1,091 theaters grossing USD $4M on its opening weekend. It went on to make $33M in North America—moderately successful considering its $17M budget.”

Well-renowned film critic Roger Ebert gave it 4 out of 4 stars.  He described the film as a “dazzling movie from Walt Disney in which computers have been used to make themselves romantic and glamorous. Here’s a technological sound-and-light show that is sensational and brainy, stylish, and fun.

His review ends with an astute and foretelling opinion – “This is an almost wholly technological movie. Although it’s populated by actors who are engaging (Bridges, Cindy Morgan) or sinister (Warner), it is not really a movie about human nature. Like “Star Wars” or “The Empire Strikes Back,” but much more so, this movie is a machine to dazzle and delight us. It is not a human-interest adventure in any generally accepted way. That’s all right, of course. It’s brilliant at what it does, and in a technical way maybe it’s breaking ground for a generation of movies in which computer-generated universes will be the background for mind-generated stories about emotion-generated personalities.

Unlike the original Tron,  Tron Legacy movie exemplifies both our advances in technology and inquiries into the human condition. There is an allegorical references to concepts such as socialism vs privatizationrevolution vs fanaticism, perfectionism vs.imperfection, homogeneous vs heterogeneous and so forth.

Tron Legacy is by no means a perfect film. It falls short in providing information about the back story of certain events and characters. The acting is on par with the original. It isn’t Oscar caliber, but it’s not awful.

I for one was happy to see certain actors reprise their roles. I think it would have been fun to see David Warner (though defeated in the original) pop-up in a cameo.

There is something that I found extremely interesting in this version.  There was a lack of older characters.  I thought the original tron had more diversity in terms of age. Others might not feel this way, but I do.

I have to say with all the cheap remakes and horrible sequels that follow some of the remakes that Hollywood has been cranking out of the last 10 years – this is a sequel that does pretty good. Yeah, it recycles some things, and the storyline isn’t anything new, but the total package with visuals is pleasing.

Tron Legacy has solid performances, a stable storyline, amazing visuals, and a killer soundtrack. I think for nothing else – see this movie for the visuals and soundtrack.

I contend – unless the Academy of Arts and Sciences gets all snooty – Tron will at least get Oscar nods for  it’s visual effects and Daft Punk’s score. It would be a crime for them to ignore the film’s brilliancy in these areas.


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