People standing in line at a 3:15 am showing of Tron fit into 3 basic categories: Drunk, High, and Wearing Tron Costumes. That line ended up being a lot like the movie: It was long and there was a lot of waiting around; the people, like the characters, made little to no sense; and while the whole thing was fun to look at, I found the experience sticky and barely tolerable.
Once we finally made it inside the theater, my slipshod crew of friends, family, and coworkers, inspired by our smuggled-in alcohol (we fit into the Drunk category), led the theater in cheering and got quite the response ranging from the uninspired “Wooo!”s and “Tron!”s to the more creative “This shit’s in 3d!!!” The only problem was that, as the movie continued, the excitement steadily decreased, because every single member of the audience completely lost track of what was happening. By the end of the movie, the only real fans left were the ones cheering for Daft Punk, the band that did the soundtrack.
For those of you who either have or haven’t seen the movie, here’s the explanation of the plot. Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), enters Tronland (the official name I think). Unfortunately, he is captured and sent to the “games.” Some really sexy programs (they appear as humans) dress him up and then he has to go fight. Sam battles well until he’s defeated by Tron, but you don’t know it’s Tron, then Tron takes Sam up to meet Clu, a clone copy of Sam’s dad, but you don’t know it’s Clu at the time. Things don’t go so great and Sam has to be a gladiator again, but he’s saved by Quorra (Olivia Wilde), who’s this total babe. Quorra takes Sam to his dad, and his dad explains that the only way to win Clu’s twisted game is not to play. Oh, he also tells Sam about ISOs, these programs that came from nowhere and are the key to revolutionizing everything ever. Too bad Clu killed all of them. Anyway, they only have like 8 hours to go home before the portal closes because Tronland is “like a safe.” It only opens from the outside. Like a safe. Sam refuses to play the game of refusing to play the game and goes to the city, where he’s betrayed and things sort of go bad. Like it turns out Quorra is the last ISO, and Tron is evil, but Tron might actually be good, and Clu is actually linked to Sam’s dad, so they sort of implode, and Sam escapes, and he and Quorra totally hook up, except they don’t because that would be weird.
Don’t get me wrong, however. This movie is nothing short of a metaphorical masterpiece! We are man, beings who are different from programs because of ever elusive reasons. Programs are clearly not like men, and this brings up dilemmas.
List of Dilemmas:
1.How are programs different from humans?
a.This is not discussed. If it were, then the sexual tension between Sam Flynn and Quorra, the sexy program, might be much creepier.
2.In what way was Clu attempting to create the perfect world?
a.He was programmed to create perfection. This seemed to entail constant gladiatorial battles and the amassing of armies.
3.Why can programs not create new programs, only alter them?
a.This is not discussed, only stated as fact. If it is a fact, then why does Clu send a ton of programs to die in gladiatorial battles when they’re clearly a precious commodity? If he’s been doing this since 1982, then how in the hell does he have so many left?!
4.What the fuck are ISOs, how do they make any sense, and in what way can they save humanity?
a.They are self-created programs.
b.They make sense because, wait, who am I kidding? That’s not discussed!
c.ISOs are the key to curing cancer, stopping earthquakes, and transferring large sums of money from Nigeria straight into your bank account! That’s how.
Now for a new category:
Russ’s Favorite Scene!
In the final battle, Sam and his dad and Quorra are hiding from some bad guy. They’re perfectly well hidden, but Quorra decides to “take herself out of the equation.” This line is a reincorporation from an earlier scene, which makes it seem important, except that it makes no sense either time. Anyway, Quorra goes and turns herself in, which accomplishes absolutely nothing, because now Sam just has to save her. He’s about to rush in and do just that, when his dad stops him. There’s a very meaningful shot showing that Quorra is being held captive by Tron, and Sam’s dad says “There’s another way.” This would indicate to me that Sam’s dad had some kind of plan. Maybe one where he reprograms Tron to be good again or something, but instead his plan is nothing. NOTHING! They go with Sam’s plan, which is, quote “I’m a user. I’ll improvise.” Now wait…Sam’s dad built this entire freaking universe and has NO PLAN; Sam just got here a couple hours ago and they go with his improvisation?!!? Jesus Christ — who was writing this thing? Anyway, they’re able to rescue Quorra because of Sam’s brilliant instincts. Oh wait. That’s not true. They rescue Quorra because someone just brings her up to them during the escape process. Then, when they’re getting chased by a bunch of planes, Tron suddenly turns good for absolutely no reason and fights off Clu for them. Yay! It’s a good thing Quorra let herself get captured!
Ok, maybe I’m hating on Tron too much. The people who were incredibly baked all thought it was awesome, because like, look at that shit! That shit’s in 3d! And to be perfectly fair, I can’t really argue against that kind of logic. Sure the story didn’t make sense, but the people and the machinery were beautiful.
Oh, and the CG to make Jeff Bridges look younger was the creepiest thing since The Polar Express. I’m glad that abomination isn’t my father!