It’s apparently event film trailer week. Hot on the heels of Iron Man 2 we now have a new trailer for Tron Legacy that finally shows more than the light cycle stuff we’ve been seeing since SDCC last year. Let’s have a look…
I saw the original Tronin the theater at the ripe old age of 10. I certainly thought it was cool, but it didn’t have a giant effect on me. A few years later, however, I would get my first VCR as either a Christmas or birthday present. A day or two after we set it up, my mother took me up to the shopping center near our house, to the tiny, independently owned video store. She went through the laborious process one went through in those days to set up an account- I seem to recall that replacing a lost or damaged tape was quite a lot of money back then, and I think the DMV had simpler forms. I was then let loose on the store. I don’t remember if I rented anything else that day, but the one thing I do remember picking out is Tron.
I went home, put it in, and hit play. When it finished, I hit rewind, then play again. I did this at least a third and possibly a fourth time, that day. Obviously, the difference between 10 and 13 was significant. (I guess no one had a great need for the living room that day, either.)
Unlike Star Wars, however, there wasn’t really any mystique of possible prequels or sequels for Tron. It was a product of that strange experimental stage of Disney’s life that begat weirdly philosophical movies that were nominally candy-coated for the kids, like The Black Hole. A poor box office showing should have doomed Tron entire, but the technological achievements it contained would go on to fuel an entire generation of filmmakers and eventually alter the very fabric of filmmaking itself.
The buildup to a sequel has gone hand-in-hand with Disney itself becoming intensely aware of its brand and branding in general; the purchase of Marvel is evidence of that. As such, there’s a certain amount of polish to this new trailer that feels… off. Detached. If that’s actually thematically attached to the story, I have to give them credit, because it comes off the trailer in waves. Enough of that, though.
Pros: Story! Finally, something other that fleeting images of Old Flynn. I don’t know how much I’ll like Flynn’s son, but the shot revealing the laser turret behind him warming up made me slightly giddy. The return of Bruce Boxleitner is a treat; I could wish for Cindy Morgan, but as of this writing it would appear she’s not involved. The new Recognizer, hell, everything about the new digital landscape looks great. Flynn must have zapped in Jonathan Ive at some point.
Cons: Errr, ok, cyber guitarist? This is tempered somewhat by my long-repressed memories of the goofy cyberfolk in the first film and their outlandish transistor clothes. There might be room for it, but there’s nothing here yet that will prove to me, in a post-Matrix world, that Tron Legacy isn’t just, well, more Matrix. Also, and this is a minor beef, did we really need the hushed, “…whoa.” at the end of the stinger after the credits? As if the Matrix comparison isn’t easy enough? Let your images ride, because they can. We don’t need a cue.
I’m excited, but with reservations. It’s certainly a world I’ve always wanted to see again. I wonder how badly, and for what reasons, the people making it wanted the same thing.