Continuing my comparison of two TRONs…
When TRON aired, video game arcades were still everywhere. I went to them and hung out. I dropped quarters in my fair share of them. The movie brought the games to life; it gave personality to the machine AIs that played against us. It shows us a weird reflection of present day life. TRON: Legacy on the other hand seemed completely oblivious to the real world gaming environment today. What are people doing today? We play head-to-head on-line. Console games are prominent. MMORPGs are huge! Six guys going at it on motorcycles just don’t happen that much any more. What we have are 8 players going head-to-head in Call of Duty or Medal of Honor. We have thousands of players interacting in thousands of different ways in World of Warcraft, Runescape, and others. TRON:Legacy never even touched on that. There was brief hat tip to wireless technology, but nothing significant.
Imagine how the cyberscape would have been different if the writers had considered the possibilities of world with digital dragons intermingled with WWII AIs. RPGs and magic. Human controlled “programs” intermingled with AIs with gaming spanning continents, not confined to a 640×480 game grid. Instead, they chose to leave it in Flynn’s own private little world, isolated from the real world. It showed.
Age and Sophistication
Let’s face it, I’m 28 years older than I was when TRON first appeared. In theory, I’m more sophisticated. I expect more from a film. I’m wiser and perhaps understand the world a little better than I did in those days. It may be just too tall of an order to fill to please my elder intellect the same way they pleased my younger. I just wish they had tried.
Remember, in the first movie, the Master Control Program brought Flynn into the grid without Flynn firing the gun. That means that the triggering mechanism for the laser can be controlled from within the system. Flynn’s personal little world would not have overlooked this. He would have been able to turn on the laser at any point and get out. The whole ticking clock in the movie was contrived…much like the rest of it.
I went into TRON: Legacy expecting to be disappointed. The movie met my expectations.