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Movie Review

TRON: Legacy also known as “TRON 2.0,” “Tron 2,” “TR2N”

MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language.

Reviewed by: Carissa Horton

Better than Average
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Primary Audience:
Kids Family Teens Adults
Sci-Fi Action Adventure Thriller Sequel
2 hr. 3 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
December 17, 2010 (wide-3,300+ theaters)
DVD: April 5, 2011
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Featuring: Olivia Wilde (Quorra), Jeff Bridges (Kevin Flynn / Clu 2.0), Garrett Hedlund (Sam Flynn), Michael Sheen (Castor), Bruce Boxleitner (Alan Bradley), Yaya DaCosta (Siren), Serinda Swan (Siren), Beau Garrett (Siren Jem), James Frain (Jarvis), more »
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Producer: LivePlanet, Walt Disney Pictures, Sean Bailey, Bruce Franklin, Steve Gaub, Justis Greene, Donald Kushner, Steven Lisberger, Jeffrey Silver, Justin Springer, Brigham Taylor
Distributor: The Walt Disney Company

“The game has changed.”

In 1982 a movie starring Jeff Bridges and the then unknown Bruce Boxleitner burst upon the entertainment world—and promptly fell out of popularity and was forgotten. This movie was “Tron.” Fans have faithfully loved their spectacularly rotoscoped science fiction phenomena ever since that fateful year. Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner chocked it up to another halfway fun role that didn’t quite pan out. I’m sure they never imagined that 29 years later, they’d be asked to do it all again.

Only a few short years after Flynn’s incredible discovery of The Grid and the programs therein, he vanishes, leaving behind a small son, Sam. Everyone’s instinctive belief is that Flynn just disappeared on a whim, deciding he’d rather spend a fortune on an island somewhere. Sam listens to this talk through his growing-up years. Did his father really leave? What happened to him? Meanwhile Encom, the company Flynn rejuvenated, is back in the hands of power-hungry businessmen focused on the bottomline: making money. Sam (Garret Hedlund) is now twenty-seven years old and despite the pleading of Alan (Bruce Boxleitner), his father’s business companion, Sam refuses to take an active hand in Encom’s future apart from the occasional raid to release a program to the world for free.

But one night Alan receives a page. A page from Flynn’s old arcade, from a line that’s been disconnected for over 20 years. His one thought is that Flynn might have returned, and so he immediately informs Sam of the impossible page. Despite his misgivings and disbelief, Sam investigates the arcade, where he stumbles across a secret passage leading to his father’s research department coated in nearly 20 years of dust and grime.

A few curious clicks on the desktop computer and Sam finds himself zapped into the fairy-tale world of his father, zapped into The Grid. All is not well in The Grid. This is not the peaceful world his father worked so diligently to build. The games that sacrificed programs for entertainment still exist, only this time, they are lead by a far more devious mind than the Master Control. They’re lead by the very program Flynn created to assist his peace-making efforts. They’re lead by Clu.

Sam’s shock at finding himself in The Grid lasts only a short time before he is forced to play the game, coming against good programs forced to fight and even enemy programs fighting because they scent the kill. With hope renewed that his father might still be alive, Sam determines to locate any evidence of him with the assistance of a lovely program by the name of Quorra (Olivia Wilde). It all comes back to needing to find Flynn and return the balance of The Grid from bad to good.

I first saw “Tron” (the original) about 9 months ago. It was late at night to best display the rotoscoping, and I confess it was one of the oddest films I’d ever watched. But it won me over because of its ingenuity and honesty. Tron, the character, believed in the users, no matter how fiercely his faith was defied by his enemies. He was forced to fight and nearly died for that belief. The same essence of faith is carried over into “Tron: Legacy.” The users are everything. They are the creators and without them the programs cannot exist. Yet these very same programs, Clu especially, leads warfare against anyone claiming that users are either real or superior to themselves. Sound familiar?

True, Flynn is no god, but the faith of these programs touched a chord inside me. They believe even when there seems to be no proof, even when the world threatens, they still believe when it feels like there’s no contact between them and their users. This faith should be emulated by Christians everywhere, because we know our God is real. This movie encourages me not to give up even when it seems hopeless. It’s always darkest just before the dawn.

Story aside, the visual effects are stunning! Yes, Jeff Bridges’ face as Clu is, well, a little lacking in realism. But other than that, the CGI is incredibly convincing. You can sense the effort on the part of the creators to enhance the similarity between “Tron: Legacy” and the original film. Diehard fans of the original may not be happy with the changes to the suits and the lightcycles, but the heart of “Tron” remains.

What pleased me was the small amount of objectionable content. No blood to speak of, since when a program is destroyed it turns into tiny microchips and falls apart. The intensity of the action is heightened during the chase scenes, and the fight sequences are passionate, but again no blood. In one scene, Sam has his clothes changed by programs, but it’s very brief and no nudity—just leg and chest (not sexual). Language is limited to only mild terms such as d*mn and h*ll.

Performances were brilliant by all involved, especially young Garrett Hedlund. I’ve been waiting for him to come into his own, and it looks like “Tron…” was a great start. Giving credit where credit is due, Olivia Wilde superbly participated as the only heroine, acting with a freshness and youthful exuberance that equally matched Garrett’s enthusiasm. There’s also a certain euphoria in seeing Bruce Boxleitner on the screen again, even if it is only as Alan, there’s a warmth fans will feel in seeing him. And, of course, Jeff Bridges both as Flynn and Clu. Despite what I said about the unrealistic features of Clu, there are moments when he looks like Jeff Bridges. Plus, the acting is Jeff Bridges all the way. He didn’t participate halfheartedly, and for that I thank him. Don’t forget Michael Sheen in his brief role as Zeus, one of the wackiest programs in the film.

“Tron: Legacy” is not for the faint of heart. Fans of the “The Matrix” series and other similar science fiction films will love it. Children will probably salivate over the action sequences. But for those of you more interested in drama or romance (which I myself love, too) then “Tron: Legacy” might not be the best choice. Truly, it will best appeal to fans of the original film who have been longing for 30 years to see Tron and Flynn onscreen again.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—“TRON: Legacy” redefines the meaning of the word “sequel.” It takes place far after the first Tron. The creator of Tron has vanished, and his son, following a clue, tracks him to his old arcade. There, he is sucked into the mainframe, that has been taken over by an evil program that resembles his father. I will say “Tron: Legacy” is one of the best movies to come out this year. The special effects and the Digital 3-D combined make for one awesome movie. Except for a total of six cuss words and digitalized violence, the movie is completely unobjectionable. I highly recommend this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Jacob Airey, age 21 (USA)
Positive—For those unfamiliar with TRON the plot comes across as a scaled down mix of “Star Wars” and “The Lord of the Rings.” I think there are several “redemptive” themes that could be discussed from the plot line: The prodigal true son versus the elder evil brother who comes off as a Satan figure, the bottomless gulf, the Creator taking the evil to himself so that there may be a way of escape, the difference between humans and all other created entities, etc.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—John T. Jeffery, age 60 (USA)
Positive—Although it was little bit strange and confusing at times, I did like this movie. The acting wasn’t too bad, and I loved the soundtrack and the effects.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Kadie Joseph, age 18 (USA)
Positive—TRON: Legacy was an interesting film. My friend and I decided to go see this today and were definitely not disappointed. The cinematography for this film was unbelievable! The music was perfect, the acting was good (although I would expect nothing less from Disney), and the story was good, not to thick and not to thin.

The thing that really impressed me about this film in particular, unlike the Star Trek VII movie, was that you hadn’t of needed to see the first TRON movie to understand the story behind TRON: Legacy. As the reviewer stated, this movie is not for the faint of heart and contains a moderate amount of action sequences, so be warned. There was no sex to deal with and the language was limited to two instances of d**n.

In short, I recommend this movie. Older children will love this (and by older I mean 8 and up). Fans of the original wouldn’t be disappointed with this TRON sequel. Good job Disney!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Alexander Malsa, age 20 (USA)
Positive—…I really loved it because it was completely original and different from anything else made from this time. I mean it is a sequel from the 1982 original, but that one doesn’t even hold a candle to this movie and to tell you the truth it really doesn’t count. “Tron: Legacy” had amazing visuals, all the action was just so new and fresh and different. I loved everything about it, the costumes were amazing and even the stylized violence, when the different characters died, I thought was pretty neat that they disintegrated and broke apart into little pieces. I also loved the fact that I could overlook all the special effects because it was supposed to look like stuff created in a computer and not of this world in the first place! I thought that it was really cool that with most movies the upbeat techno music wouldn’t fit for high action scenes but with Tron it made the action scenes really fun and enjoyable!

I’ve seen it in 3D and 2D and while both were awesome, 3D made Tron seem like you were in the world, which I absolutely loved. Especially since at the beginning of the movie, when you were in the real world it was 2D and then when you transitioned to the world of Tron it changed to 3D which was kind of surreal! And although some people didn’t like the plot I thought that it was decent and with all the other neat stuff going on a super intricate plot would take away from the cool visuals! Anyway that’s what I thought, take it or leave it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sierra, age 20 (USA)
Neutral—Overall, Tron was a very entertaining movie. My husband and I both enjoyed seeing it in the IMAX theater. I have never seen the original, but was pleased with this movie, none the less. That being said, both my husband and I agree that while it was entertaining, we felt like they threw in references to evolution and global warming.

We are glad that we saw it, as the effects were awesome (at least in the IMAX version), but probably would not pay to see it more than once. In regards to sexual content, I do not remember there being anything that offended me. However, there are women wearing tight fitting clothing. I would say that of most of the movies out there now a days, this is probably one of the cleaner ones. I would recommend this movie to older children, ages 13+
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sarah, age 27 (USA)
Negative—This honestly was the most boring movie! I couldn’t believe it! All the hype about the animation and it was so lame. So dramatic and wrapped up in the issue with his father that it was so boring. We walked out the last few minutes because we didn’t want to waste our time. And the “3-d”? What? There was hardly any! I went to three different locations in the the theater thinking it was the location but it was just the movie. What a waste of time and a waste of potential for what this could have been. Don’t waste your time! When we were leaving, other people were in front of us saying, “That movie sucked,” we said, “What, Tron?”, they said, “Yeah, we couldn’t take another second.” I was really disappointed!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Samantha Taylor, age 36 (USA)
Negative—I remember the Tron movie 1982 and the game. I was expecting to see some games and more teams to play the game as it’s the whole purpose of Tron. The effects were awesome, I was just waiting to see more, but everything kind of turned out to be more drama than anything else; I found the movie really boring when reaching half way. I was disappointed; so, in one word,… -Boring—…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—David, age 36 (Canada)
Negative—Come on brothers and sisters. Anyone notice the gnostic gospel in there anywhere? Maybe the whole movie! Say it with me now “indoctrination”. Please if you watched this movie and did not get rubbed the wrong way examine yourselves and the things being fed to your children. If any of you are unaware of the tenants of Gnosticism(while they vary from sect to sect) I’ll break it down for you below (warning: ancient blaspheme). The real god (or one of them) Sophia (Flynn, Satan) created the world (the computer world). Sophia also created Demiurge (Jesus, Jehovah, Clue in the movie.) Who was an ignorant god. Who is evil and prone to genocide. So in the movie Clue (Jesus) has created a perfect place, and plans to take Earth by force and force perfection on everyone or destroy them (any of this sounding familiar). So Sophia (Flynn, Satan) comes down to liberate the minds of humanity and set them free from Jehovah’s/(Jesus, Clue)’s evil plan.

Key point’s for the movie and gnosticism: perfection/righteousness/purity = slavery sin=freedom There is much, much more to say about the allegories in the movie, but I don’t want to write you all a book. For those of you that think I may be reading into it, it’s only a movie. Wake up it is a spiritual battle were fighting, and it is on.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Luke Livgren, age 26 (USA)
Negative—The Bible, God’s word should be the definition of what is moral, or good. Remember: Galatians 5:19-26; Romans 13:8-11; Isaiah 5:20; Ephesians 4:29; and 1 Corinthians 15:33. Irregardless of your faith, turn it off, if it is not harmony with God’s commandments.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Thomas Williams, age 41 (USA)
Comments from young people
Neutral—I’ll start off saying that 3D was certainly unnecessary for this movie. Some parts of the movie were a bit slow and difficult to understand, but, overall, most boys will enjoy it better than girls. I liked it okay; I know my dad enjoyed it more, though.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Emily, age 12 (USA)
Positive—I couldn’t say that the moral rating was excellent because the character’s dad was the “god” of the place he created, and he made mistakes. That gives a bad impression of our God. Also in one scene the dad says he was going to change science, medicine and religion with his video game. We don’t need to change religion. Overall, I can’t stop thinking about how great and funny this movie is. I would recommend it in 3D, because I didn’t see it in 3D, and it was amazing. It has a lot of action and is great for the whole family. It is definitely a PG movie since the violence is video game violence (pixels) and the only weapon they used were disks. Also, there was no kissing, let alone hugging in the movie—except for the dad and Sam (the main character).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sandra, age 15 (Canada)
Positive—This is likely going to come out as one of my favorite movies of the year. The acting was superb, the action was entertaining, and the romance was clean. This is a rather hard-to-find combination in today’s movie industry. I must confess that I went into this movie with expectations of a cheesy film based off it’s PG rating. Shallow, I know, but true nevertheless. I am pleased to say I was more than pleasantly surprised. More than once I found myself leaning forward in anticipation. The film draws one into the realm of the movie and makes the viewer care about the characters. All in all the movie in terms of entertainment was absolutely superb.

In terms of morals, it was also excellent. There was only a single instance of blood in the entire movie, and it was by no means gruesome or offensive. It was merely a few drops. There was a good deal of violence, but because all the “bad guys” turn to pixilated dust when destroyed, it was probably appropriate for anyone over the age of around 4. Much of the movie was filled with talk of selflessness and “removing oneself from the equation.” This is, needless to say, a beneficial moral for viewers of any age. Furthermore, it showed a story of the rebellion of the created against the creator.

***Minor Spoiler*** An example of this is when it is said that Clu, the antagonist and perhaps Satan-like character, can only re-purpose the people of the computer world but not create them. Much like Satan does with us today.
***End Spoiler***

As far as objectionable content, the violence is minuscule. Not even enough to make the most squeamish viewer turn away unless they have a secret fear of computer pixels. However, most of the characters were in skin-tight suits, even the females. This is, ahem, distracting. And not in the good sense. The curves of the female body are, in my opinion, over emphasized. Not quite to a sensual extent, but awfully close. In summation, this was a very entertaining clean movie that I would most defiantly suggest to anybody.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Hayden, age 15 (USA)
Positive—Although I haven’t seen the original, “Tron: Legacy” massaged my mind. It is not as intense like most movies today, but it has its fair share of action (the movie in its own way is fast pace). As a Christian I recommend this movie for believers and non-believers alike. Like other reviews on this site about Tron Legacy mention, this movie has the content that mirrors the basic conflict, or setting between Satan and God. I won’t go into detail because I have tendencies to explain enough material to feed ten families, but in short this movie has got it all. It’s got the perfect balance of action, romance, and adventure (the way they should be portrayed; especially romance).

The Bible has a lot of blood and gore, but it doesn’t contain the text to cause peoples' stomachs to invert. (spoiler) Just as in the movie the action, or violence, is very clean. The programs get derezzed, fall apart into countless bloodless pixels. No guts or vital organs (end spoiler). Romance today has gotten very loose now at days. From pecks on the check to make-out sessions with vampires and innuendos that fly over most heads. This movie’s take on romance is nice and smoother than a frictionless surface. It places a bond that I would recommend for those around my age. One reason why is because ***SPOILER*** both Sam and Quorra work together under Kevin’s orders. ***END SPOILER***.

The same way couples today should work together under the Lord’s orders. Like I said before, this movie has got it all. It’s light and fast, perfect for both the patient and impatient (great for those wondering how to spend their date night). 3D was okay, I recommend IMAX, anything else is waste of money.

***SPOILER*** For those of you wondering about Daft Punk, yes they make a nice cameo, but just like the world they come and go ***END SPOILER***.

Things to remember during and after the movie, we’re all human, nothing we make is perfect, and only through God can we prevail. Enjoy the movie and God Bless.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jorge, age 17 (USA)
Positive—“Tron” was really interesting, and the special effects were great! I was expecting it to be boring, because I had read reviews about it, but I thought the plot was very interesing! The main charater swore 2 or 3 times, but, other than that, it was clean. Everyone one was talking about how amazing the special effects were, and I wasn’t dissappointed! I had hoped there would be more game scenes, but still very interesting and very well done. The casting was perfect, and I loved Jeff Bridges’ acting (as always, he did a great job). I would recommend this to families, but maybe kids under 6 should go to bed.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Brianna, age 14 (USA)
Neutral—I went to go see the movie “Tron: Legacy” with a few of my friends and was very disappointed with it. It was boring throughout the most of the movie. “Tron” was just a copy of the app store game: Light Bike 2. Overall, my friends and I were very sad that this movie wasn’t better.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Ryan, age 13 (USA)