May 18th, 2012 - 12:48 pm
|Here's an in-depth followup to my brief review post last night!|
So right away, we get an intro giving us the backstory as per the Legacy canon-- Flynn's Arcade, Flynn creating the Grid, the secret basement lab underneath the arcade. Look at this gorgeous shot as the narrator introduces the character of Tron!
OMG this animation is so cool! The characters are still a little weird-looking but I'm caring less and less about that because everything else is SO FREAKING PRETTY.
Tronzler??? That looks like you! Not sure how I feel about the name "Beck" for the main character. It's just not very... computery. Reminds me of a surf shop back home, which is also not very computery. Then again, maybe it's a reference to some computer thing that I don't know about.
I like how the story starts out in media res, those kinds of stories are fun. And it's, like, two different layers of in media res, too, which is extra fun.
So we see Beck... falling from the sky and crashing somewhere in the Outlands, and then finding a base or something and stealing a Grid-version of an ATV. He gets run down by Tronzler! Haha, nice try, kid. Tronzler has been doing this many cycles longer than you.
"You're not afraid?" "No." "You should be." Whoowhoo, all aboard the Cliche Express!
So our young hero is a mechanic. I wonder what his function is in an actual computer. Fixing errors...? IDEK.
We see Beck and his friend playing a disc fighting game for fun! Interesting. In the movies we've only seen them as gladiator-style fights to the death.
LMAO the badguy (General Tesler) floats in with his army and literally drops a statue of Clu in the middle of Argon City. Like, his troops airlift in this huge black box, drop it, and BAM. Giant-ass statue of Clu.
Fun fact: the troops in this scene look very much like the ones from the original! Their staff weapons even have the same prism-halo effect when they strike someone! Nice callback to the first movie. (On a less positive note, it says something about how little they've developed Beck's friends when one of them dies and all I think is, "Hey, those staff weapons are the same as the original! Neat!" Granted, they've only gotten a few minutes of screentime so far, but still. I guess I've been spoiled by ATLA, hah.)
"You really think one program can make a difference?" "Why not? One program already did--Tron." Thank you, writers, for making up for the sad lack of Tron in Legacy. Nice to see that the series, at least, is giving him the recognition he deserves! Y'know, what with his name being THE NAME OF THE FRANCHISE and all.
So Beck decides to steal Tron's identity! Hmm. Them's some big shoes to fill, son.
Grid Tanks! <3 Grid weather...?
LOL nice, he blows up the statue. And off he goes!
Lady Villain! Tesler calls her by name and I cannot for the life of me understand it, so let's go to the internet! Wikipedia tells me her name is... Paige??? Da fuck?! No, series, no. No. That is not a Grid name. I've seen Mary Sues on FFnet with more TRON-appropriate names. I do not approve of this.
Ooh lookie, more pretty lightcycle animation to distract me from the name disaster in the previous paragraph. Whee! Shiny! (The animation really is lovely, except for those weird faces.)
So Paige (sigh) catches up with Beck after he dispatches the lightcycle-riding goons who're pursuing him. She says, "So you're Tron? Hmm. I thought you'd be taller." Is it just me, or is that a little in-joke there? The actor who played Tronzler in Legacy was much shorter than Bruce Boxleitner, which the fans noticed.
Her name may suck, but Paige is a total asskicker, I like her. (Y U NAME HER "PAIGE" THOUGH????)
So now we know how Beck ended up falling from the sky. He hijacked a helicopter! (Gridcopter? Lightcopter?)
Hahahaaaaa. Beck breaks out of the handcuffs Tronzler put on him and he tries to attack. Tronzler is just like, "Program, please. Sit the fuck down, amateur." Oh Tronzler. <3
And yes, it is Tron! He sheds the black Rinzler suit, revealing a white Grid suit just like the original! :`D Trooooooon! It's not at all a surprising plot twist, but I don't care, I still clapped like a seal when he unmasked himself.
So it seems that Tron is looking for a protege, basically. Someone to take up the fight on his behalf, using his name and identity. Why can't he fight himself? Because Clu inflicted some sort of extreme damage on him which has apparently weakened him. He claims the scars will never heal, but we see him doing some pretty intense fighting in Legacy. So maybe, when the uprising inevitably fails (we know it fails because Legacy happened), Clu recaptures Tron, permanently reprograms him to become Rinzler, and then repairs the damage? That's my guess.
Now, hold on. In the scene when Tronzler has Beck captive, Beck is all "ROW ROW FIGHT DA POWAH NEVER GIVE UP NEVER SURRENDER", but once Tron is like, "Hey, I think you're a worthy program to carry on my battle for me!", Beck is suddenly all, "Whoa, hey, no way, I'm no hero!" Umm you just said like two minutes ago that you wanted to strike back at Clu.
Beck returns to the garage, tired from his ~masked hero~ expedition, and Tesler's forces are there too! Ooooh damn. Paige has an ultimatum for the programs of Argon City: she shows them a picture of "Tron" and tells them, "As long as he's free, you won't be." Until the programs of the city hand over the masked renegade, Tesler's forces will be rounding them up as "volunteers" for the disc wars.
At this point, Paige kind of reminds me of Azula, but a little less cruel. For instance, she tells the programs at the garage that they have "a few cycles" to hand over the renegade before Tesler starts culling them for the games. But then Tesler tells her to start culling "volunteers" immediately and she's none too happy with that decision. She obeys, of course, but she'd thought the programs would have more time to comply and is clearly disturbed when Tesler tells her otherwise.
Anyway, Beck goes back to work and Paige sees him holding this tool thing that she saw "Tron" use on the hijacked lightcopter. She is suspicious, but the guy who runs the garage (name, please, writers??) shows her a toolbox full of the things and she backs off... for now.
Anyway, Beck's friends have mixed feelings on "Tron". Zed thinks he's a troublemaker who's going to get them all killed. Mara thinks he's brave and hot. There's this kind of hilarious conversation where Mara says, "I think he's handsome." And Zed replies, "How can you tell? He's wearing a mask!" Mara says, "I have a feeling." So Zed turns to Beck and asks, "What do you think?" And Beck is all, "...Is he handsome? ¯\(O_o)/¯" Zed's like, "No, is he on our side!"
Garage Guy takes Beck aside and asks him if he had anything to do with the statue being destroyed and Beck lies, of course. Just as Beck is promising Garage Guy that he'll be more careful not to get into trouble, Tesler's forces come back. He's changed his mind, the culling will begin right away. Naturally, Zed and Mara get grabbed and that's where I was like, "Oh no, not the minor characters with very little development or screentime."
Beck is forced into action by this turn of events and goes after the lightrail train. There's a very cool chase/fight sequence here that I really enjoy. He faces off against this soldier from Tesler's troops and ends up sparing the program's life, which confuses the guy greatly. It also benefits him, as the enemy program helps him find his friends.
The chase scene ends with Beck derailing the train and freeing the captured programs. The enemy guy who helps him gets derezzed. :(
BTW, props to Disney for not populating the entire Grid with white people-- er, white programs. The guy who runs the garage is black, the enemy dude who helps Beck looks East Asian, Zed might be Latino, Paige doesn't look white either although I can't pinpoint what ethnicity she might be modeled after. Granted, the main protagonist is still a white (likely hetero) male, but it's better than an entire world of white peeps. Ain't got nothin' on ATLA/LoK, though.
LOL as they're fleeing, Mara is like "MAYBE WE SHOULD GO SAY HI YA KNOW THANK HIM OR SOMETHING--" And Zed is like "NOPE RUN".
Whoa, damn, Tesler has these power-gloves that are like fist versions of the staff weapons! Sweet. The fight scene between Tesler and Beck is pretty cool, culminating in both of them atop the scaffolding for a new building, and some pretty intense stuff happens! I won't spoil all the fun details.
So we have Beck at Tron's secret hideout again, telling Tron that he's ready to take up the battle now. Tron says, "No, you're not... but you will be." And he transfers data from his disc to Beck's, and Beck's Grid suit transforms into a white one identical to Tron's. Tron tells him that they have work to do, and we end there.
So! Final thoughts: is this the ~greatest animated series ever~? No, not really, there's a lot that could be improved. But will I still watch every single episode and squee like a little girl every time? Hell yes, because TROOOOOOONNNNN OMG YAY.