It’s a well-known fact that I love Tron, Disney’s 1982 movie about computer games and the people who love them and the people who live in them. I own the special deluxe DVD version (which I’ve watched I think once) and have the soundtrack in digital clarity. I admire it for being a truly original movie.
So you might think that I’d be excited about the announcement for Tron Legacy, a sequel that is coming out next year.
(Click on the new lightcycle to see the teaser trailer.)
Of course, I gained my love for Tron before I became a miserable crank who hates all movies and fun, so it may not come as a surprise to anyone to hear I’m a bit skeptical of this project.
Mostly I just don’t understand it, and that’s even overlooking the fact that it’s happening about twenty years too late. Tron was very much a product of its time, riding the waves of both the videogame craze and the advent of computers as devices in the home. The mystique surrounding a possible world inside the computer is long lost on kids who have grown up with them and now carry around pocket devices that are more powerful than the machines Tron was created on.
In addition, the fact that computer games now feature dazzling, photo-realistic imagery also kind of goes against the original undertaking. Look at the lightcycles in the above trailer*. If they can fly, if they can curve, if they bounce little wiggly bits in their light trails, then it seems that you’re sort of underlining the fact that these are simply motorcycles that emit brick walls behind them, which is stupid in any context other than videogames (and early videogames at that). In the original movie you knew you were in a different world not just because of the look and language of the place, but because even physics behaved differently. If it’s just like our world, why is it interesting?
It just seems very…silly to me. It really looks like a case of doing something because we can instead of because there being any worthwhile reason for doing it. But hey, maybe when more info comes out I’ll find the hook that I need for it to make sense to me. It is, after all, just a teaser trailer.
What I’d like to see for a Tron sequel is a combo with a WarGames sequel, in which Kevin Flynn has to go inside of WOPR Jr. to prevent it from starting another nuclear war, set in like 1989 or so.
* — Which of course are desaturated because bright colors in videogames are gay.