Movie Review: Tron Legacy
So I saw Tron:Legacy for the second time this afternoon.
Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed it. Really enjoyed it. Lock in your suspension of unbelief and enjoy the ride.
For those of you who don’t know, it is the sequel to the 1982 movie Tron and takes place in the present day. The movie is loosely based on the idea that Jeff Bridges character, Kevin Flynn, has created a digital world called “The Grid”. He also creates computer programs to inhabit this world. Soon, the most powerful computer program, made in his own likeness, stages a coop and takes over the world. Flynn is trapped and the outside world moves on.
Eventually Flynn’s son makes his way into the Grid and they seek to get out together. Action and adventure ensue.
The one other twist is that somehow, a group of programs were created by spontaneous generation. They weren’t written and were somehow half human (users) and half programs.
The movie had killer computer shots and beautiful landscapes. (on a side note I have seen it in 3-D and regular-D and it doesn’t make a big difference) At times, the dialogue could use some help and the acting was par.
There were a couple of themes that I found striking. First, the movie has some very interesting parallels to the story of creation and the fall. Flynn creates Clu in his own image and Clu ends up overthrowing Flynn’s rule. For this the other programs hail Clu as a liberator. The deep irony apparent to the viewer is the Clu has actually enslaved the programs. Though the story conflates Adam and Satan, the themes are still unmistakable. In fact, at one point Clu reflects on his creation while looking at an apple.
There is also the story of the redemption of Rinzler/Tron. Though the story doesn’t get a ton of screen time, it does play a significant part in the narrative.
So what do we learn from this? What has this part of Athens to do with Jerusalem?
Our sin is actually enslavement. Our pursuit of what we think we are designed for, not what we are actually designed for will always lead to our enslavement. In our culture, we often use our self-perception to dictate our actions. We do x because a person like us should do x, and in doing so we become slaves to these things. (On a completely related note; Chuck Klosterman’s article on Kurt Cobain and David Koresh explores this well…)
Second, the film has an odd fixation on Perfection. Ben Witherington III points this out on his blog. Where I think more should be explored is in the area of why. Why are the writers of Tron so entranced by perfection? It seems to be a longing for something that we know exist and yet know that we can’t attain. There is a great scene (on the solar sailor) that demonstrates the tension between the transcendence (and unknowable-ness) of Perfction/God and the imminence of Perfection/God. The writers of Tron are just writing from what they know and somehow the creator has endowed us all with a sense of his Holiness and how far away it is.