Internet Defense League


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Straight Up Reviews #7: Tron: Uprising.

The grid full of endless possibilities and then one day, we got to see it for ourselves.  Now anyone who has read my CIEIR or even paid attention to my comics would know I am a fan of Tron.   For those who don't know what I am talking about here is the skivvy.

Kevin Flynn, a computer genius who is on the verge of taking back what was stolen from him, gets sucked into Encom computer into The Grid.  Where computer programs are people, places and objects.  In there he fights along side Tron, a security program that fights for the users.  Together they stop the malevolent MCP, bring peace to the grid and to top it off make Flynn head of Encom.

Uprising takes place before it's sequel Legacy.  In it Clu, Flynn's stand in has taken over The Grid and begun a purge of ISOs.  Tron is missing and presumed dead and Flynn is no where to be found.  Along the way, a small occupation lead by General Tesler, takes over Argon City.  In the process many programs are being persecuted or Derezzed (killed in the Tron Universe.).  One such program happens to be a close friend to Beck, a local mechanic program, whom normally just builds lightcycles and play games.  However his friend Bohdi was slaughted by one of Tesler's Black Guards. Having enough, Beck takes matters into his own hands and starts fighting back against Tesler's forces disguised as Tron, in hopes of inspiring hope in Argon that their once legendary hero still lives.   In the process he meets the real Tron.  Impressed by his skills and determination, Tron trains Beck to be his replacement.  Along the way they recruit more into the resistance, while keeping Beck's identity a secret.  They also make enemies out of Tesler and his two minions, Pavel who wants to replace Tesler as general and Paige, a former medical program with a troubled past.  The latter of which is infatuated with both "The Renegade" (Beck's alias to those that don't believe he's Tron.) as well as Beck himself, albeit for different reasons.

When I first heard about this show, all I could think of was "This is gonna suck, this is really gonna fucking suck." And was hesitant to watch it for a while.  That was until I caught in on netflix today.  I watched ten episodes so far and I gotta say. If you are an Uprising fan and you see me walking down the street one day, you have my permission to bitch slap me for being wrong.  It not only doesn't suck, but it's the only thing Disney Channel XD made that was new and worth watching.  No scratch that, it was the only thing Disney Channel worth watching.  NOOOOOO SCRATCH THAT!!!! IT WAS THE ONLY MODERN DAY DISNEY CHANNEL TV SHOW IN THE WORLD WORTH WATCHING.

First let's start with the one thing Disney was ever good at to begin with now, the animation.  They combine Disney's unique style of Cell shading animation with Tron's ground Breaking CGI and it doesn't suck like most examples of 2D/3D hybrids.

Second the story.   While I do like Tron and Legacy.  Their story was lacking.  Mostly because the budget at the time was mostly used on the stunning visuals that made the movies famous in the first place.  Whilst animating it is cheaper but more effective.  That's because with animation, you can have the balance of great visuals as well as a coherent story and the story itself is coherent.  It follows Beck's journey from being a mechanic to a freedom fighter, to eventually a man worthy of carrying the name Tron.  It has a villain that you can identify with whether you love him or hate him through Tesler. You do at least feel bad for him when his plans fail.  And then there's Paige, who we genuinely feel sorry for because she truly believes that her side is the heroic side.  Her backstory alone and her relationship with Beck and The Renegade shows her having doubts about whether or not she's doing right.  And then there's the rest of Argon City, Beck's friends are divided on whether or not to side with The Renegade and many of Argon's citizens have their own ups and downs depending on who you meet.  It gives us the impression that the programs that reside in our own computers are no different than us.  An ongoing theme of the entire franchise.

Last but not least is the cast.  First and foremost is Bruce Boxleitner reprising his role as the titular Tron as well as a few other casts from the old series, but not telling.  Bruce retains the serious mood that Tron was all about despite wearing a futuristic hockey suit. (Rimshot)  But also brings in a side of Tron we never see, the scarred, weakened close to the edge without fallen hero.  Then we have Ellijah Wood.  I must admit I was never really a fan of him save for a few movies.  I am one of the few that liked  The Good Son and Faculty, but not liked Lord of The that I taken the time to watch out for lynch mobs.  Anywho that was one of the reasons I didn't want to watch this show.  Thankfully his acting cap was on in this one.  I genuinely feel the pressure Beck feels about hiding his identity and living up to Tron's expectations.   Last but not least we have Lance Henriksen.  I rarely see him in villain roles, but he does well.  He is no stranger to playing humanoid mechanical beings *Cough* Aliens.*Cough*  As well as military figures, that's a given.  But that evil flair is something I can't describe it just works.  You have to see for yourself.

All and all it's a great show, it should not have been cancelled.  Anyone near the Disney Channel HQ, if you can read this and are a hardcore Tron fan.  Help bring the show back.

As usual debate, argue and let me know what I missed.  Stay Tuned For More.   I FIGHT FOR THE USERS!!!

Update: I watched the entire first season.  19 episodes of awesome.   While I don't know whether or not they'll make another season.  I do know this they ended on a note that would easily tie into Legacy should they not continue.  Which will be probably disappointing to some of you whom grew to like certain characters.  And to any fan shippers out there that wanted to see the extent of Beck/Renagade/Paige's relationship, I don't think you'll like where this is going.   That being said, to many fans of the old movie, of legacy and even this show I can tell you this, they ended it the way it would end with Tron, with many questions unanswered, the worry of the grid's future, plus the hope that it will all work out no matter what. Until we know for certain, keep the fight going, for Flynn, for Tron, for Beck, but most importantly for you.  If you are reading this, you are the users and Tron hasn't given up fighting for you. 

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