This post is not necessarily a review of the film, although I will indeed put on my critic hat. To me, when watching a film that explores innovation in science, it’s more important to focus on the ideas evoked by the experience rather than to nitpick at the craft, even though I’m an ace at this. Even films that are poorly executed can entice one’s personal innovation platform.
With this in mind, my ultimate intention is to explore the grand ideas of the film, its underlying implications for innovation, how technology transforms the human condition while threatening it, how digital innovation is shaping our lives–the film’s own innovation in CGI.
More importantly, I’d like to examine the more archetypal thematic elements of the film that provide interesting perspectives about personal transformation, our relationship with deities, fathers, and technology.
Tron Legacy is a 3D high-tech adventure set in a digital world that’s unlike anything ever captured on the big screen. Sam Flynn (GARRETT HEDLUND), the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn (JEFF BRIDGES), looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the same world of fierce programs and gladiatorial games where his father has been living for 25 years.
Along with Kevin’s loyal confidant (OLIVIA WILDE), father and son embark on a life-and-death journey across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous.
An archetype is essentially a universal pattern. Tron is an exploration of an underworld, in this case, a virtual world created by Kevin Flynn. Flynn is a ‘user’ and technically, a father-creator of the virtual world. The father-son relationship is important here, because Sean is a prodigy and also the largest shareholder of his father’s company, yet he is rebellious and poised to make a statement to the board once every year with some huge hack.
Even though the writing could have been improved, I enjoyed the way the film made me think about the digital frontier. The parallel universe, or the ‘threshold’ in mythic terms is the portal that opens into the game. Here, everything is a program, either good or evil. I appreciated these elements and was quite entertained.
It’s less about the content of the film and more about what the content inspired me to think about. It was more about the experience of watching the film rather than nitpicking on aesthetic details. The digital age seems to be transitioning from an early stage to a full-blown era of technological innovation. Tron explores this archetype of innovation in a very compelling and entertaining way, and one can learn and be inspired from the ingenious possibilities of this archetype, and integrate it into one’s own visionary ambition.