I do not understand fandom. The difference between a good nerd movie and a bad nerd movie is so subtle and grey. You think you’ve got a lock on what they want, and they turn on you. I made you guys a Tron movie. A fucking TRON movie! I feel like an idiot just saying the word “Tron” in front of adults.
For those that don’t know, Tron is a movie from the 1980’s about neon lines in a computer. The concept is, people can literally enter a digital world and play Atari games like Pong with their whole bodies. It’s super popular with nerds because it has neon lines and David Warner.
Making a sequel to Tron with updated graphics seemed like a no-brainer. And just to recapture the original’s spirit I made sure it was a no-brainer. I did everything else I was supposed to do, too. Like Avatar, it was 3D. Like Avatar, it had CG characters. Like Avatar, it takes place in an immersive fictional world. Like Avatar, it featured a super hot non-human woman. Like Avatar, it puts its little toe into the idea of deep thought and lets you defend it from there. But for some reason you rejected this one. You people act like you’ve never seen a bad movie before, like Avatar.
So the main character in Tron is a guy named Tron played by Jeff Bridges. In between movies, Tron got old and started worrying about his legacy. So he did something about it. First, he made a kid by having sex with a woman. Immediately after, he went to his computer world and made a kid by having sex with himself.
Both results offered me wonderful opportunities for technological innovation. The computer kid (badTron) is basically a Jeff Bridges clone that never ages, so I needed to take Jeff Bridges’ soul and put it in a CG body. This marks the first time anyone has ever done this. I had Andy Serkis play Jeff Bridges’ body in mo-cap then it was animated by the people at Dreamworks because Pixar would make him look too good. It seemed thematically appropriate that he resemble a video game character, so that’s what we went for, and that’s what we got.
For the human offspring (Tron Jr.) I had to do the opposite. I had Andy Serkis mo-cap Jeff Bridges’ soul and inserted it into the body of Jeff Bridges’ real life son, Beau Jr. This marks the first time someone has ever done this. I think it turned out okay, but my perspective may be warped from being too close to the project. The kid’s like a real son to me now, and I will fucking punch your nose if you badmouth his acting.
The film begins with Tron Jr. doing stupid boring stuff with no neon lines. Eventually the Honey I Shrunk the Kids ray sends him into the computer world. Once there, he has to play gladiatorial Atari games. He wins them all because he’s human, and, as a 21st Century twenty-something, has plenty of experience with games like Pong, Frogger, and Pitfall. There’s one exciting scene where a neon-lined gorilla (Andy Serkis) throws neon-lined barrels at him while he tries to climb neon-lined ladders. Another game involves accidentally falling into large holes while accidentally collecting parts of a telephone. Tron Jr. quits this one early and pops in Custer’s Revenge instead.
Eventually, Tron Jr. meets up with badTron. At first badTron seems like a good guy because he’s wearing sunglasses. But then they fall off, and Tron Jr. sees his cold, lifeless eyes and knows he’s an evil video game. Before he can run away, he has win to a motorcycle version of that snake game that used to come free on your cellphone. He wins the game, but badTron knows how to manipulate DOS cheats. Luckily, a hot lady saves Tron Jr.’s ass and drives him to meet his real dad for the first time in 20 years.
Once there, Tron himself tells us more of that happened between movies. He and badTron worked really hard to build the ultimate SimCity. The city was so perfect, in fact, that millions of NPC’s started appearing out of nowhere. Tron realized their digital souls held all the answers to our non-digital woes. But badTron didn’t like how their spontaneity affected his stats, so he cntrl-alt-deteted their asses. Only the finest ass escaped. Since then, Tron has been spending his time sitting on a pillow with the lights off.
(For their reunion dinner, they eat some vegetables. There’s a roasted pig sitting on the table, too, but they just throw it away. That scene’s on the blue-ray.)
At this point, the film gets a plot. The two Trons and the computer girl need to get out of SimCity. To figure out how, they first need to consult Albino Ziggy Stardust. Albino Ziggy Stardust doesn’t know much, but he dances a lot and betrays them so there can be another action scene. This one’s not based on an Atari game, though. The Tron people wear hard drives on their back that also serve as weapons. So they have a kung-fu fight with their hard drives. This is me bending over backwards to realize every nerd fantasy imaginable.
After this, they hop a train to the exit. It’s a loooooong ride, but it gives Tron some much needed pillow-sitting time, while his son tries to talk to the girl-thing. For about twenty-minutes or so, we get to watch that idea awkwardly not work out.
Right around the time you start to forget what movie you’re watching, they all have a neon-line airplane fight. It’s a lot like the neon-line motorcycle fight. badTron is part of the attacking group and the only real threat. Once again he gets defeated, yet remains in the game due to his badass DOS skills.
He stays on their ass while they make a break for the big light that can take them home. Literally at the gates, Tron abruptly decides to hang back and use his admin powers to martyr himself. He takes out badTron and the entire SimCity in the process. The reason he never broke out these admin powers before is because no one was ever actually in danger of anything until now, and even now is debatable. All I know is: this is a movie and movies end with explosions.
Back in the real world, Tron Jr. Prime cuts the terrified NPC girl into tiny cubes, or “bits” and sends them to the world’s top scientists who immediately start using them to cure disease and famine and obesity and heart-break and dirt.