Okay, so... how do we react to sequels made thirty years after the release of the original?
Good question. I don't know. I didn't see the first installment of this franchise, and all attempts to were sort of... killed by Disney executives, what with not making the DVD of Tron available on Netflix. (Thanks a lot, Disney.) What we get, then, is having to judge its sequel on its own merits.
Which is surprisingly easy...
I'll just get to today's movie.
Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) vanishes while developing something that will change humanity, thus leaving ENCOM in greedy hands. His estranged son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) thus becomes a rather rebellious young man. However, when a call is made from his old arcade from the 80's, Sam heads over there. Before he knows it, he finds himself on the Grid, and finds himself facing off against malevolent program Clu (also Jeff Bridges, with a Fountain of Youth CGI job). He does this with the help of Quorra (Olivia Wilde), and sets off on an adventure to stop Clu from reaching a portal that will take him to the real world.
Okay. So... you'll notice I haven't mentioned anything about the events of the original. Well... aside from never having seen the original Tron, there's no real need to. The sequel manages to give enough information about the first movie as is needed for us to get the general gist of what's going on. And it all does it without our noticing it; honestly, I felt that it could've stood on its own as a movie, which I think is the best thing that can be said about a sequel.
That said, it does suffer a few minor issues with the script, most blatantly in pacing. I wouldn't call this movie a slowly-paced film, but I would say that it still has quite a few problems with pacing, mainly in how uneven the pacing is. Plot developments sort of come and go, but there's always something off about how the plot developments are paced. Sometimes it feels like there are too many things being told to us at once; other times, it feels a little slow. As well, there are a couple of points where really important things happen, but they don't really amount to anything within this installment. (In fact, whenever those things happen it feels like they're preparing us for a possible sequel, which I think should rarely be done.) I think this movie could have done with a nice long session of script doctoring to help iron it out. That said, this script is far from being the worst script of this year, so while it's not perfect it still does what it needs to.
Of course, there's something to be said for how they manage to make the script work, and the execution is really good. The movie is one of this year's most visually impressive films, using its 3D to the best effect in a live-action film since Avatar. And of course, there's some very good acting from all of the leads, particularly from Academy Award-Winner Jeff Bridges; all of the leads take the script where it needs to go, and they do so with grace and dignity even despite the uneven pacing.
So all said and done, Tron: Legacy is a reasonably good film. Its script has a few pacing issues, but apart from those it's an entertaining movie for the holidays with its strong visuals and very good acting. I say, check it out.
And Disney, please do something for me: the original Tron so we can all watch it. Please?
It has a few flaws, but it's still worth checking out.
This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.