Movie Review: Tron


Promoted at the Annual Comic – Con for three years in a row, advertised on TV, and in movie previews for over a month, the highly anticipated movie “TRON: Legacy” opened in theaters everywhere on December 17, 2010.  This “sequel” to the original “TRON” movie, released in 1982, was directed by Joseph Kosinski.  Opening at number one in the charts for its opening weekend, it brought in a total of $44 million in the US and Canada.  But these numbers were far from impressive for a movie that had an estimated budget of $170 million. 

Stars of the movie included actors Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, and Bruce Boxleitner.  Bridges and Boxleitner are the only two actors who have appeared in both this film and the original “TRON” movie in 1982.  Bridges reprises his role as Kevin Flynn, the creator of a virtual world known as “The Grid.”  In this film, Flynn has disappeared from our real world into the virtual world he created, and is now stranded there after an unfortunate run-in with the clone of himself (CLU) that he created to run “The Grid” when he wasn’t there.  Twenty years later, Flynn’s son Sam finds himself face-to-face with his father’s clone CLU who hasn’t aged at all in those twenty years.

Bridges, playing the role of Kevin Flynn and CLU, had to then de-age by twenty years for CLU’s role.  Disney achieved their desired effect of de-aging him by using the same technology that was used in the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” where the lead actor in that movie had a new age every few minutes.  “I thought he (CLU) was a pretty good replica, but in the opening scene you could really tell he was computerized and I got confused at first,” said senior Katti Grosso.

They created Bridges “younger self” by first creating a mold of his face and then taking out all wrinkles and other age marks.  Then, throughout the rest of his filming of his role as CLU, he wore a helmet with several cameras on the inside that captured every detail of his face when he acted out the role, thereby allowing the computer to capture every aspect of his face.  “I think this technology opens up really interesting opportunities for actors,” director Kosinski said to The Boston Globe online.

To create the amazing and unique glowing suits that the actors wore in the film, Disney had a wardrobe budget of $13 million, stated the Internet Movie Database (Imdb).  In fact, one custom suit for the races in the movie cost $60,000 because each one was equipped with glowing features.  This technique eliminated the need to add those details in the post-production process of the film which took about 68 weeks to finish because of all the other intense special effects of the movie.  “I thought the glowing suits were very cool, it was a great effect for the film and as I watched I could imagine being in the film myself and having a blast,” said senior Brittany Basenback. 

Unfortunately, the special effects were one of the only parts of the movie that received constant praise.  The storyline was confusing, hard to follow, and often became overshadowed by other things like the amazing motorcycle-like vehicles that appeared out of a small rod-like object.  This flaw in the movie was sometimes overlooked by audiences who only really cared about the special effects, but was definitely not ignored by the critics.  Watching an epic and energized disk battle on “The Grid” with neon colors flying in every direction may have been what brought people in, but is that enough to keep them hooked?