I’m not usually one to mince my words and maybe I am being a little too harsh but if Tron:Legacy isn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen then it definitely comes very very close to that. This is a pretty long review and features a bunch of spoilers, so if you’re not into either of those things I can probably sum up my problems with it in one word: Why?
My main problem (and anyone else with a brain’s problem) concerns the script. To me, it seems as though it was written by a baby and/or someone with no understanding of how movies should work. Yeah, I know that it’s a ridiculous concept with people being ‘digitally reanimated inside a computer network’ but I’m not talking about that – i’m talking about how nothing makes sense and how there’s no plot and characters (whether they are computer programs or not).
Apparently some of the guys who were involved with Lost were involved in writing the script, which probably explains it, as they’ve had six years of experience in writing something which doesn’t make any sense and yet has been ridiculously successful. Is making no sense now the key to success? I guess it’s working for these guys as Tron: Legacy has made about $45 million in its opening 3 days.
OK so there’s some semblance of a plot to begin with: Garrett Hedlund is Kevin Flynn’s son Sam who is really upset that his dad disappeared when he was nine and so to deal with this he drives around moodily on his bike and plays pranks on his dad’s company i.e. breaking into their offices and releasing their new operating system for free and then base jumping off the roof. Here’s a picture of him just before he base jumps, he wears the same expression on his face throughout the movie:
Of course he doesn’t get into trouble over this because he’s a billionaire, thanks to his dad’s selfish disappearance and the fact that ENCOM, the computer games company from the original has developed into a Microsoft type company with Sam as its majority shareholder. Although the company now sells its software instead of giving it away for free as was originally intended, making them evil hence the pranks. I think this was why he did that, although it wasn’t really explained. BUT, if Encom hadn’t have taken this step then he wouldn’t have been a billionaire, so couldn’t lead his badass life of doing nothing except driving around being moody and living in a cool converted shipping yard drinking beers right? That’s only the start of dumb things that don’t make any sense in the movie.
For some reason that isn’t explained, the police arrest him after the base jump but then don’t really care about his actions and let him go straight away, then he wanders around moodily trying to act for about 40 excruciating minutes (which literally did not need to be included as nothing that really happens in the outside world is relevant to the ‘plot’ of the movie) before he finds his way onto THE GRID, has some gladiator battles and bike races, and then runs into his father, who is living in exile in some digital mountains somewhere.
Turns out the older Flynn got stuck in THE GRID when he went back there to try and figure out something to do with the ISO’s – newly created programs who will allegedly revolutionise the world: ‘everything will change: science, medicine, religion’ (that is an actual line) – because a program he created in his own image, CLU, went power crazy trying to develop the perfect system. This kind of made sense. Except the part about the ISO’s.
It didn’t really make sense though as to why CLU hadn’t tracked him down in all this time (apparently 1000’s of GRID years had passed since Flynn was stranded) as he seems to have just been hanging out in this mountain the whole time, and when they leave the mountain CLU goes there straight away to sneak around and have some flashbacks about when Flynn first created him, implying he always knew where he was. I guess this was to flesh out the whole frankenstein/Cain & Abel dynamic between the two. It didn’t really succeed though. Or make sense when thought about for more than two seconds.