Greetings, programs! What’s this, you ask? Why is Hoboken’s Comic Book Examiner writing a mere movie review? You’ll be happy you asked. If one wished to stretch the point a bit, a case could be made that since Marvel is now owned by Disney, any geek film of note put out by Disney will likely have some kind of comic-related tie-in via Marvel Comics (see these Marvel TRON variant covers as a case in point), but in reality, when one of the more beloved geek movies of all time gets a sequel nearly thirty years later, it’s worth noting.
Rather than bore you with a plot summary, let’s just get to the juicy bits, shall we? With his performance(s) in Tron: Legacy, Jeff Bridges has officially achieved the godlike status of cool that is usually reserved for guys like Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, or Bruce Campbell. Bridges’ Kevin Flynn radiates a kind of cool that is equal parts Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Dude, and his younger, computerized alter ego, Clu is such a convincing creation that you often forget that you’re looking at a computer image and not the real thing. Olivia Wilde is almost impossibly beautiful as an “isomorphic algorithm” named Quorra who guides Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) through the wonders and dangers of “the grid”. Oh yeah, and the deadly, glowing identity discs are still the coolest weapons this side of a lightsaber, and every kid with a frisbee better be making these sound effects when they throw ’em around for the next few years.
So, how exactly does this qualify as a superhero film? Well, the stakes are certainly high enough. We’re no longer making the world safe for “good” corporate executives as the first film was. No, the world, our world, the REAL world, is at stake in this one. Sam and Kevin’s status as “users” give them powers and abilities far beyond those of ordinary programs, and they use them to save the world, whatever the cost.
Now, why is this the BEST superhero film of the year? Well, let’s face it, it’s been a pretty thin year for superhero flicks. But just you wait until 2011, but that’s another story (one you can read right here!). Anyone else get annoyed when you go see a Batman, Superman, or Spider-Man movie and there’s too much talking about relationships and not enough time with the superhero in costume doing whatever a spider can or whatever else? Yeah, don’t worry about that here. Twenty minutes into this one, and it’s non-stop action until the last five minutes, and even the expository sections are filled with such breathtaking visuals (one can only hope that Green Lantern looks this good) that you won’t even think about heading to the bathroom.