These two films provide an excellent illustration of just how far CGI has come in twenty-eight years. Tron had only a few minutes of actual CGI. Tron 2 is wall-to-wall CGI. I think there are very few scenes that don’t have at least a little image manipulation, and most of them are very elaborate creations that exist only in the processors. That should be no surprise, of course. The sequel looks no better or worse than any other film from 2010. We’re used to all that jazz by now. One thing this one does that was not possible at all is to make Jeff Bridges young again. He plays Kevin Flynn as he would be when his son is a grown man, and Clu (Codified Likeness Utility) a character generated in the computer who is his duplicate, looking like he did in the original. This is done with what is called digital make-up, which was also used in The Irishman with De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci. If only it worked in the real world, huh? Today, 2020, the process works 100%. Just can’t tell it’s there. In 2010, it was just not quite right. There was something just a little bit off. Say, 95%.
The story is no better than it has to be. The obligatory female appearances are provided by Olivia Wilde and Beau Garrett, both looking ravishing and not having a lot to do. When you get down to it, Tron: Legacy is just another shoot-em-up video game where hundreds of human-like targets are set up and knocked down. Ho-hum. But there is one thing I can say for sure. The people who made Tron could not possibly have imagined this film. I don’t believe anyone could have.