TRON: Legacy

 
Techie reboot is visually dazzling but short on story.
  • Review Date: December 15, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 125 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There aren't many life lessons in this movie other than that humanity's imperfection is also what makes humans special and that the "digital frontier" is inescapable and constantly changes, which is definitely applicable to our techno-obsessed world. The unconditional nature of father-son relationships is also explored via Kevin and Sam.

Positive role models

Sam tries to save his father from the Grid, and Kevin ultimately shows his selflessness. Quorra, who's not human, values the "users" enough to willingly turn herself over to Clu.

Violence

In the Grid, Sam (and later Kevin and Quorra) are nearly killed by Clu and his minions many times. Sam has to fight in a series of to-the-death "games" with fierce opponents who shatter like glass when they die. A few prominent characters die in the Grid. Quorra's arm shatters, and she looks like an amputee until Kevin fixes the damage. A few drops of blood in one fight scene.

Sex

In a random sweep of the grid, programs are shown cuddling, flirting, and kissing. Sam and Quorra flirt with each other and embrace. Four female-looking programs are dressed in skintight gear and stiletto heels. Some innuendo.

Language

Language includes "damn it," "stupid," and "hell."

Consumerism

Parts of the film feel like a commercial for Ducati, the luxury Italian motorcycle. Sam and Alan drink Coors beer.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Programs "drink" at dinner and at a club, but it's within a simulated computer world. Sam and Alan have a drink together.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this highly anticipated sequel to 1982's Tron features some intense sequences that are made even more impactful because the movie was shot in 3-D. While the violence (which includes several near-death encounters) is lessened by the fact that programs shatter instead of bleed, it's still shocking to see and may frighten younger viewers. Language includes exclamations like "damn it" and "stupid," and the sexuality is mostly in the form of female-looking programs who wear second-skin uniforms and stilettos. There's also some flirting and embracing between two major characters. Programs kiss, dance, and drink, though you can't tell for sure that it's alcohol. Messages about technology and father-son relationships are central to this stylized action-adventure.

What's the story?

Two decades after computer programmer and video game designer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) disappeared -- but was actually trapped inside the digital world of his computer game -- his son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), is prompted to track down a mysterious page. Snooping around his father's ancient video arcade, Sam is unexpectedly sucked into the "Grid" as well, where his father's virtual clone, Clu (a digitally enhanced, youthful Bridges), attempts to kill him. Sam is rescued by Quorra (Olivia Wilde), an enigmatic "program" who serves as Kevin's apprentice in a secret digital landscape that's considered "off the grid," where Kevin lives an almost monastic existence and has given up on ever getting out of the virtual world. With Quorra's help, Sam attempts to defeat Clu and get the three of them out of the Grid and back to reality.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

TRON: LEGACY is a visually stunning film. But while many of the action sequences are truly awesome -- including the memorable light cyle race -- the story is a bit lacking in emotion. There are some highlights -- like the hilarious nightclub scene (thanks largely to Michael Sheen, who's deliciously campy as the club's owner). Really, once the novelty of seeing two Jeff Bridges wears off, there's not too much too pull you in beyond the effects ... luckily, for fans of the original Tron, that might be plenty.

Newbies might notice that for a loud and action-packed thriller, TRON: Legacy drags a bit, with an ending that doesn't culminate in the payoff they might have hoped for. There's no denying that the computer-generated effects are worth checking out in 3-D -- If you or your kid is into all things Tron, you'll enjoy the high-tech eye candy -- but the plot almost can't help but pale in comparison. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's themes of technology and how it changes our lives. Do you think these ideas are more relevant today than in the '80s when the original came out? Why or why not?

  • How are Clu and Kevin's approaches to the digital world in opposition? What do they each represent?

  • What did you think of the movie's special effects? Were they impressive or distracting?

  • How does this movie compare to the original? Do you think it will have as big of a following?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 17, 2010
DVD release date:April 5, 2011
Cast:Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Michael Sheen, Olivia Wilde
Director:Joseph Kosinski
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Adventures
Run time:125 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sequences of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language

This review of TRON: Legacy was written by

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 5 year old Written byCello487 April 6, 2011
age 5+
 

Great Entertainment For Kids & Adults

We have to remember this is a Disney movie, which means it has very little objectional material. If your kid likes video games, stunning visuals or motorcycles then this movie will captivate him even during the plot scenes. My kid was captivated the eintire movie even during the plot scenes.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Educator Written byMychemicalstinkpants February 3, 2011
age 12+
 

good but short remake is for older kids.

when ever someone dies pixles splater every where and blood is shown once
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byMovieReviewGuy July 11, 2011
age 10+
 

Good for 10+

Though Tron:Legacy is marked as filled with violence (and I put that too) you should note that the violence is almost always virtual. That is in the sense that characters shatter instead of get cut. Though the website says to watch out for this, it is actually LESS scary to watch for younger children because the people are electronic projections ("programs"), not real people dying. Second of all, though commonsensemedia marks the sexual content high, I disagree. The women wear tight-fitting clothes, which do emphasize the shape of their bodies. However, that is the only thing I can think of in terms of sexual content; couples talking and hugging in the background of a scene is hardly sexual content. This movie is good for ages 10+ For more complete reviews from MovieReviewGuy, visit commonsensemedia.org/user/movereviewguy
What other families should know
Too much violence

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