Tron Legacy has gotten a lot of guff since its release, particularly from the geek population. The recent news that there is another sequel in the works will probably cause those same parties to reaffirm their hatred for the sequel which was 28 years in the making. Which is as good a time as any to reaffirm why I, and probably a decent number of you readers out there, actually loved the film. You see, I thought that in the face of an almost three decade wait, a film that could have been a simple cash grab for nostalgia turned out to be a really good movie with more than redeemable qualities to spare.
But at the same time, there could have been more. So with that, I’d like to share with you 5 perks to Tron Legacy and 5 things that Joseph Kosinski and company can improve on in the next film. If I’m lucky, maybe some of you will walk away from this with a better appreciation, or at least a little more respect, for what just might become another cult classic. If not, then please be kind when stuffing me into the virtual locker I’ll gladly occupy in defense of this film. I defend this film not only out of love, but also the chance that someone might recognize that this is the way you revive a long dormant property. (It’s infinitely better than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, you know it to be true.)
5 Reasons Why Tron Legacy Didn’t Suck
5. It Covered 28 Year Gap By Expanding The Universe
Something people tend to forget is that we didn’t just get Tron: Legacy; we also got Betrayal (the excellent graphic novel prequel), Evolution (the horrific video game prequel), and Uprising (the awesome cartoon) out of the deal. Through these stories, the rise of CLU and the fall of Flynn is better explained than in the films; as well as the creation of the ISOs. But even based on the film’s opening back-story alone, Tron Legacy took the time to lay out a specific path between 1989 and 2010 for Sam Flynn to turn into the character he had become. You don’t need to experience the other properties to get the full story for Legacy, but they definitely enrich the experience.
Think of Sam’s story as that of a banished prince who cannot stand to see what his kingdom has become. In those missing years, ENCOM became an evil Apple clone, the Dillinger name was somehow restored to good standing, and Alan was trying to barely mask his contempt for the idiots in charge. Right there is an organic set up for a new film, one which hit the Reset button and brings back the original conflicts of Tron, but does so in a suitable enough way to drive the story away from the ENCOM politics the first film reveled in. With Sam’s story becoming part of the franchise, it became less about protecting ones software and became more about protecting ones’ family and legacy.
This article was first posted on January 23, 2013