Why ‘Tron’ Fans Will Love No. 3

source: Disney

source: Disney

Tron fans rejoice, as cast members Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund have been confirmed for the third installment in the techie franchise according to The Hollywood Reporter. Director John Kosinski will also be back to direct number three, though there’s no word yet on whether French electronica duo Daft Punk will return to do the soundtrack that was so highly acclaimed. With the major players from Tron: Legacy returning, the third installment will likely bring the same highs, and similar lows, as the second film did.

Tron: Legacy was the 2010 sequel to the 1982 science fiction movie Tron starring Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner. The original Tron is a cult classic for its early use of special effects and interest in video games. It has had a large influence on film and popular culture though it wasn’t originally successful at the box office. Bridges plays a computer programmer who accidentally gets sucked inside the world of the computer software he’s been working on and struggles to get back out through various programs. Critics praised the movie’s visuals as well as Bridges’s performance, but criticized the confusing storyline.

Twenty-eight years later, Disney made a sequel to the property. Hedlund plays Bridges’s son, who ends up getting sucked into the same computer as his father did 20 years later. Wilde, who ended up becoming the biggest star from the film, plays a sexy computer algorithm warrior named Quorra who has been helping Bridges’s character while he’s been trapped. Similarly to the first film, Legacy was praised for its visual experience and soundtrack, but criticized for a lack of plot and poor acting. The movie has a 51% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Like the original, Tron: Legacy obsesses over technology and style but forgets important details like character and plot,” said a review from Newsday. “Three decades later Disney has gone back to the electronic drawing board and returned with Tron: Legacy, a sequel with far less color and cinematic imagination, and many more bells and whistles,” said The New York Times. Still, having grossed $400 million worldwide according to Box Office Mojo, it’s easy to see why Disney wants another sequel.

Fans of Tron aren’t in it for supreme storytelling or acting anyway. The movie is supposed to be a crazy visual-audio experience akin to some sort of theme park ride or watching someone play an ultra high-definition video game rather than watching a film that will later win an Oscar. Obtaining the highly sought after Daft Punk for the soundtrack will be more important for fan experience than the film’s script. Those who paid to go see Tron: Legacy will pour back into theaters for number three regardless of whether critics criticize it for having no plot.

There’s no word as of yet whether Bridges will return for the third film. Wilde recently finished filming the Christmas comedy Love the Coopers, and can currently be seen in the horror movie The Lazarus Effect. Hedlund will soon be seen playing Captain Hook in the Disney reboot of Peter Pan, Pan, and has been cast in the anticipated upcoming Ang Lee film Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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