Review: Tron: Legacy

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Review: Tron: Legacy

Homeland Security Seizure

Tron:Legacy
December 2010

This sequel to the 1982 original Tron movie which was a technical trailblazer for its use of CGI but not a big hit, includes dazzling 3D special effects but not much else. The plot focuses on Sam Flynn, the grown son of Kevin Flynn who was the main character in the original Tron. Kevin, a computer visionary, disappears when Sam is 7, because he got stuck inside The Grid of an alternate computer universe that he created. The grown up Sam gets himself transported into this alternate universe and some dazzling race and fight scenes and trite plot lines ensue.

Tron: Legacy had a lot of potential for some interesting political content. There is the new digital race of people who came into being inside the computer universe. These people were all but completely wiped out by the evil dictator program Clu in his quest to eliminate all imperfection. Clu, the not so subtle fascist dictator, is a program that was created by Kevin Flynn, to help him build the perfect world. So we get a good solid anti-fascist message here. But the alternative, from Kevin, is praise for individualism and it's inherent imperfections, now that he's realized his mistake with Clu.

Rather than have the masses (of program beings) rise up against the fascist dictator, we're just told dismissively that they were all killed (but one). There are a few rumblings of the other programs being unhappy with dictator Clu, but they are incapable of organizing themselves into any resistance and the few we see either die or end up being turncoats serving the fascists. The only signs of useful resistance come from heroic individualist actions by programs who break with their fascist leader but with no explanation or organization.

In the end, the big individualists themselves are the only ones who can defeat the fascist dictator and save both the real world and the digitized alternate universe. This leaves us with three super-heroes who only need to kill off the dictator and all is right in the world.

Fundamentally Tron: Legacy promotes individualism and worship of leaders while dismissing the revolutionary potential of the masses. It suggests that the masses can only be liberated/saved by a leader who is much smarter than them. And so, in spite of it's lip service to anti-fascism, MIM(Prisons) doesn't recommend Tron: Legacy.

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