Unfortunately the sky is too overcast to the see the lunar eclipse here in Maine, so maybe next time. I went to see TRON Legacy tonight and I really liked it and I felt the story was quite profound, actually. I have seen the original film from 1982 and the sequel relies heavily on many of the themes and ideas presented there; it would be somewhat difficult to understand the plot if you have not seen the original film.
Without giving too much away, I enjoyed the character depth, though I felt the more interesting aspect was the way the point and counterpoint of Creationism was presented to contrast with Buddhism. Buddhist ideas were presented in an almost textbook manner – anyone with such a background will see the references made apparent, even discussed, by the film’s main characters. In my opinion, the Biblical allusions are no less subtle and pick up where they left off from 1982, presenting the programs’ reverance for the Users in an unmistakable religious fashion. That is, the Users (humans) have created the programs, some of whom fight for the users (like Tron himself) and some of whom have strayed from the narrow path of light, claiming superiority over the Users.
While both Abrahamic and Eastern spiritual concepts were presented, I didn’t feel like they clashed. The isoform algorithms, or ISO’s, as we are told, “manifested” out of nowhere and it seems their evolution and development paralleled that of humans, except in the computer world, and therefore at a much faster and more efficient rate. The ISO’s are a new idea formed by Legacy’s writers, foreign to the original story, though their addition is completely consistent with the underlying themes of Buddhism in terms of human development. Arguably the basic idea is also consistent with scientific evolutionary theory.
I dare say that the Buddhist philosophies replaced the reverance for the Users, or Creators, much in the same way analogous matters did in recent literature such as His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass), The DaVinci Code and The Sorceror’s Apprentice. Whether fundamentalist Christians will take notice of TRON’s counterpoint remains to be seen, though I haven’t noticed any outrage. Perhaps the fundamentalist intellect is limited to instances of more obvious, even literal “hidden messages” such as those clearly displayed in Compass, lol.
For those of you with less interest in Biblical and spiritual allusion, the film overall offered a fun adventure full of fascinating characters and awesome special effects, particularly enhanced by 3D technology. In some ways the film is also very formulated, and it has received mostly mediocre reviews. I think fanboys and girls are the target audience here – those who were enraptured by the 1982 film and the cult following it created. I highly recommend watching the original before viewing this sequel. That said, individuals with a more superficial interest in films will certainly be delighted by Legacy and can probably get away with missing the original. The same goes for the kiddies. This is, after all, a Disney film. As a heavy computer and technology user and avid gamer, I commend Legacy for its loyalty to the original and interesting characters it produced. Combined with the 3D filming and special effects, they created (manifested?) a believable world that any fanboy, or girl, would appreciate.