Tron: Legacy Parent Guide
For 21st Century teens, the action sequences in "Tron Legacy" may be enough to reignite interest in this franchise.
Parent Movie Review
Unlike many sequels, the new Tron: Legacy asks viewers to try to recall plots points from a movie that released 28 years ago. Huh? All I remember about seeing Tron in the summer of ‘82 was that it felt long and tedious, and it was my second date with the woman who is now my wife. It also seems Disney has done it’s best to make that earlier film disappear. A rare, sealed copy sells upward to $100 and more for the 2002 DVD edition on eBay.(On April 5, 2011,Tron was released by DIsney on DVD and Blu-ray.)
While the team of writers on this effort attempt to provide some clues to the back-story, the quantity of information still feels a little stingy. They begin by returning us to 1989 where Kevin Flynn (played by a digitally youth-enized Jeff Bridges) says goodbye to his 7-year-old son Sam (Owen Best) and rides off into a virtual world of his creation where he will become trapped for the next two decades.
Sam grows up (now played by Garrett Hedlund) to be the antithesis of his father. His disdain for technology is his motivation for launching sophisticated technological pranks on his father’s former company, which has morphed into a mega conglomerate. (Strangely, his ability to hack into complex computer systems would suggest he’s anything but an anti-geek.) But when his father’s former business partner Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) gets a mysterious message asking Sam to return to his father’s abandoned arcade, the young man reluctantly accepts the request.
Entering the dusty den of electronic entertainment, he throws a few switches and lights up an old Tron videogame. (Fortunately, someone must still be paying the power bill.) Within minutes he discovers a secret passage that takes him to the land of virtual enchantment where he will reunite with his father and discover the conflict that has kept him captive for so long.
The original Tron is noted for its cutting edge use of computerized effects and first time feature director Joseph Kosinski has embraced this mantra completely. Everything in this world of darkness glows with neon-like details. Characters zip around on lightcycles—essentially a motorcycle created with beams of illumination—and humanoids are outlined and accented with phosphorescent piping. It’s an art director and costume designer’s dream.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, the level of special effects in any given film is usually inversely proportional to the quality of the story. This rebooted Tron is still abstract without reason. Audiences today are much more computer savvy, yet there is little attempt to relate the characters within this supposed computer with any of today’s often discussed technical terms. Where are the viruses? The malware? The army of bits controlled by an unseen hacker?
Thankfully, my complaints have more to do with artistic matters than concerns parents may have about letting their kids see this film. Violence is the greatest issue here, with many conflicts leading to aggression. Still, the fighting is never explicit. Spinning disks that look like a hybrid between a Frisbee and Oddjob’s hat are thrown at characters that, if they are hit, disintegrate into tiny particles. Only once do we see a drop of blood—an indication that a true human is inside this digital society. Sexual content is limited to a couple of skintight costumes on females and language includes only a handful of mild profanities.
For 21st Century teens, the action sequences in Tron Legacy may be enough to reignite interest in this franchise. However the original only did modest business at the box office and unless this 2.0 upgrade can come up with better numbers, it may be "game over" for another three decades.Directed by Joseph Kosinski . Starring Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde. Running time: 125 minutes. Theatrical release December 17, 2010. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Tron: Legacy rated PG? Tron: Legacy is rated PG by the MPAA for sequences of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language.
Violence: Main characters are in frequent perilous situations, occasionally engage in reckless and illegal behavior, and are often forced to participate in gladiator-like competitions. The movie contains almost continuous depictions of hand-to-hand battles (with and without weapons), racing high-tech vehicles and firing at various opponents which result in implied deaths, injuries (one drop of blood is shown), crashes, destructive explosion and characters disintegrating into digital rubble. Genocide is discussed. A character loses a limb during a fight (no blood is seen).
Sexual Content: Characters wear tight, form-fitting costumes. Female outfits also reveal shoulders. A man is undressed and briefly seen in his underwear. A man sensually touches a woman’s face. A man and woman embrace. Background characters at a nightclub cuddle together.
Language: Infrequent mild profanities are used.
Drugs and Alcohol: Characters drink alcoholic beverages in private homes and in a bar-like setting.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for Tron: Legacy after the break...
Tron: Legacy Parents' Guide
Kevin and Sam take very different approaches to the problem of being stuck within the digital world. How do their ages and experiences affect the types of solutions they consider? Why does time often bring wisdom, while youth tends to be synonymous with impetuousness? Is one better that the other, or should there be a balance?
The most recent home video release of Tron: Legacy movie is April 5, 2011. Here are some details…
Tron: Legacy releases to home video on April 5, 2011, in the following packages:
Tron: Legacy (DVD) offers:
-Installing the Cast
-First Look at TRON: Uprising the Disney XD animated series
Tron: Legacy (DVD/Blu-ray combo) and Tron Legacy - 3D (3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) include all of the above plus:
-The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed
-Disney Second Screen
-Launching The Legacy
-Music video: Daft Punk, "Derezzed"
Tron (1982) - 2D / Tron Legacy (2010) - 3D:
- Audio commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Storyboarding & Galleries
- Visualizing TRON
- Installing the Cast
- First Look at TRON: Uprising the Disney XD animated series
- The TRON Phenomenon
- The Making of TRON
- Digital Imagery
Exclusive HD Content:
- Photo Tronology
- The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed
- Disney Second Screen
- Launching The Legacy
- Disc Roars
- Music video: Daft Punk, "Derezzed"
Tron (1982) / Tron Legacy (2011) - 3D (Limited Edition Ultimate Tron Experience) (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) 5-Disc Set:
-All of the above in "Limited Edition Identity Disc Packaging."
Music video: Daft Punk, "Derezzed"