TRON: Uprising Beckâ€™s Beginning ReviewÂ
Theme Song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records
Iâ€™m just going to jump right in folks. I love TRON! Maybe not as much as TRON guy, but I really love the first one and even TRON: Legacy. The world is so unique, interesting and visually stunning! I believe that this is one of the most original worlds ever created! When I heard that they were going to do a TRON animated series that takes place between 1 and Legacy I was very excited and I couldnâ€™t wait to see what they were going to do and the trailers didnâ€™t disappoint either. After about two years of nothing, but promises and a few trailers on Disney XD a preview episode aired on May 18th on Disney XD and is now officially released by Disney on youtube for free in United States only (sorry if you live in other countries). This episode is technically the pilot and sets up the premise of the actual show that aired on Disney XD on June 7th 2012 .Â This preview episode is just flat out awesome! I love it and I canâ€™t wait to see how the show progresses. I say itâ€™s awesome, but thatâ€™s as a TRON fan. As a critic itâ€™s still an amazing beginning and episode that does have 1 problem and a few nitpicks. Greetings my fellow Users and welcome back to the Grid!
SINCE THE STORY OF TRON: UPRISING IS A MIDQUEL THE ONLY WAY I CAN PROPERLY REVIEW THE EPISODE IS WITH COMPLETE SPOILERS AND A SYNOPSIS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!! HERE IS A LINK TO THE EPISODE. RETURN TO THE REVIEW ONCE YOU ARE DONE VIEWING IF YOU HAVENâ€™T SEEN IT AND IF YOU HAVE FEEL FREE TO READ ON OR WITNESS THE AWESOMENESS AGAIN! ENJOY!
The story of TRON: Uprising is a very well done setup episode that begins withBruce Boxleitner doing a narration giving us the basics of everything TRON and the events of CLUâ€™s takeover and TRONâ€™s defeat. The episode then proceeds to go back and forth from the present time where TRON in his Rinzler persona is interrogating the program that the narration introduced as Beck and the events that led to Beckâ€™s capture. We learn that after Beck witnesses the deresolution of his best friend right in front of him he seeks vengeance by assuming TRONâ€™s identity by changing his costume to have the iconic â€œTâ€ as well as a convenient helmet to hide his face and causes vandalism by destroying the CLU statue that was placed as a symbol that Argon City was under CLUâ€™s control. The entire exposition is carried out in the form of the interrogation which is a very creative way to show exposition and the episode should be commended for it. After Rinzler tests Beckâ€™s commitment to the cause he reveals himself to be a very much alive TRON and offers Beck to not only join the rebellion, but lead it and be trained to be the next TRON. Beck is honored, but despite his resolve he feels like heâ€™s not worthy to be given such an honor despite his potential. He returns to his friends only to find out that whether he likes it or not CLUâ€™s forces are only tightening the leash and his actions have hastened the inevitable martial law. His friends are being rounded up and sent to â€œThe Gamesâ€ which have been arranged early by CLUâ€™s general in charge of Argon City named General Tesler. Beck rides out impersonating TRON and frees the programs and engages General Tesler and barely escapes back to TRONâ€™s hideout and tells TRON that he is ready to begin his training and the episode ends there.
Itâ€™s a solid episode from beginning to end and is a simple set up to a seemingly great show! What I love about it is that itâ€™s a TRON story actually about the programs that live on the Grid as opposed to a User getting zapped in to save a world they know absolutely nothing about. Itâ€™s a TRON story told with characters that actually have a real stake in the outcome of the world and it gives the world of TRON more of an emotional legitimacy in Disneyâ€™s diverse set of worlds. My friend also pointed out that itâ€™s very Batman Beyond in terms of how the original hero is training a new hero as well as some of the designs and feel of the show. Now I thought Stephanâ€™s Animated Analysis Abridged review was too harsh, but there was one point he made that did make sense and that was Beckâ€™s change in motivations. When heâ€™s being interrogated by Rinzler he makes this passionate speech about how he would die for freedom and how he wouldnâ€™t stop fighting, but when TRON reveals himself and makes his offer Beck turns him down saying he doesnâ€™t want to fight and goes back home which doesnâ€™t make any sense regarding his speech. Beckâ€™s reluctance could have easily been justified by having Beck need a few more days to think about it because taking part in a revolution let alone leading it takes a lot of thinking and sacrifices and responsibility that one shouldnâ€™t take lightly. He simply needed to tell TRON that he needed time to think and see whether his speech was made out of vengeful anger for hisÂ dead friend or true longing for freedom. Problem solved. The thing that I disagree with Stephan on is the logical problem of CLUâ€™s soldiers not scanning everyoneâ€™s identity disc to see their memories and find Beck right away. Well I put that in the villain clichÃ© folder along with the fact that the Galactic Empire in Star Wars should never have sustained its influence because the Storm Troopers are terrible shots and could never logically sustain a competent military control over anything. Besides CLU has a knack for underestimating people such as underestimating Sam and Kevin as well as Rinzler once TRON regains control of himself so itâ€™s logical that he underestimates Beck and doesnâ€™t want Tesler wasting resources. Also CLU is all about perfection and efficiency and isnâ€™t going to waste Teslerâ€™s resources to track down one program and wonâ€™t do it until the Revolution gets more members and Tesler needs to establish the games and other political stuff and establishments and the obvious is that Argon City is huge even disc searches would take ample time and be slow and blind fishing. The only true nitpick I can find is that if TRON says heâ€™s so scarred that he canâ€™t lead the Revolution himself then how come he can kick Beckâ€™s ass no problem as well as still be a badass on a lightcycle when CLUâ€™s forces including General Tesler couldnâ€™t? Oh well maybe he means heâ€™s not strong enough to actually take on CLU again especially in his condition. Still the story is really good and the setup is very interesting and I canâ€™t wait to see where it goes from here!
The characters of TRON: Uprising are quite interesting and I canâ€™t wait to see what the show has in store for them and all the major players are given very good introductions in this episode.
Paige: voiced by Emmanuelle Chriqui
Paige is a lieutenant in CLUâ€™s army under General Teslerâ€™s command and serves not only as an officer, but as an elite assassin sent to investigate and apprehend Beck during his escape after the destruction of the CLU statue( Samâ€™s lucky he didnâ€™t have one of those tracking him). She is a highly skilled in combat and is professional yet has a semi playful and flirtatious side. She can also recognize skill and potential in combat when she sees it and points it out while fighting Beck. Think of her as the evil Quorra except not as innocent.
General Tesler: voiced by Lance Henrikson
The main antagonist of the series. He is CLUâ€™s general that was put in charge of the Argon City territory and pretty much establishes martial law. Once Beck shows up he starts to tighten his grip on the city and bring the games to Argon. A cold and ruthless commander and he will derez anyone who even thinks of standing up to CLU or him. His weapon is also one of the most unique TRON weapons ever. He has these energy gauntlets that can allow him to stretch his hands and just beat the crap out of his enemy. Just awesome Derezzing Hands! Iâ€™m surprised they actually had him fight Beck this early a big and welcome surprise! There is more tyranny and villainy to come and itâ€™s his move and Iâ€™ll be there to see what it will be!
CLU: voiced by Fred Tatasciore
CLU only had a cameo in this episode, but I thought it necessary to include him seeing as heâ€™s like the real threat seeing as heâ€™s the leader and cause of everything. Even though we know heâ€™sÂ only going to get stronger and wonâ€™t be defeated till Legacy itâ€™s interesting to see CLU evolve his strategy and rule. We see earlier versions of his soldiers. They look like the old guard during the MCP rule of the ENCOM system, but sleeker and how that will evolve into the Black Guard in Legacy. The key word regarding most of the elements of this series is interest! I canâ€™t wait to see where they go with this! Also Fred Tatasciore does his as always great Jeff Bridges impersonation and does a great job even though he only says like one or two lines!
TRON: voiced by Bruce Boxleitner
TRON is done very well here. Heâ€™s badass both as everyoneâ€™s favorite security program and as Rinzler! Heâ€™s like old Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond, the old hero that canâ€™t fight anymore (even though I think heâ€™s perfectly capable to from what we saw) and wants to train a new hero to lead the programs to freedom! Bruce Boxleitnerâ€™s performance is always awesome and performs the character with strength and wisdom. What I really like about this series is that itâ€™s a TRON story thatâ€™s actually about TRON (outside of the Kingdom Hearts universe of course)! This is the real TRON Legacy because one of the main themes of the series is like Batman Begins of what TRON means to the programs of the Grid and how TRON as a mere program can be destroyed, but as a SYMBOL of freedom and justice on the Grid he can be incorruptible and everlasting! Itâ€™s excellent stuff and TRON taking his place as second main character and mentor is just awesome!
Beck: voiced by Elijah Wood
Beck is the true main character of the series. Beck is a solid character that certainly is very skilled that itâ€™s no wonder TRON chose him to be his successor. What makes Beck interesting and different from TRON is that Beck has mechanic skills that TRON doesnâ€™t have since heâ€™s a mechanic and can repair vehicles with relative ease with a very cool and useful tool. He has the same drive and spirit as TRON (aside from that little motivation lapse) and Elijah Wood gives his best performance. Elijah Wood isnâ€™t the best actor in the world, but this is much better than anything heâ€™s done before even Lord of the Rings. Iâ€™m canâ€™t wait to see what the show has in store for Beck!
Unfortunately Daft Punk does not score the series, but Joseph Trapanese does a very good job of emulating the TRON Legacy score and even remixing a few Daft Punk favorites. It certainly has the TRON mood and is great stuff!
Since this is TRON this is probably the best aspect of the whole thing! The Grid is as gorgeous as ever and the animation is a combination of 2D and 3D which offers a very unique look and is really awesome! Admittedly the character models especially the faces do take getting used to. I didnâ€™t like them at first because I thought it looked like the unspeakably terrible MTV Spider-man show in 2003, but that animation didnâ€™t look right because we expect more traditional animation when it comes to Spider-man, but with TRON I think it fits really well. TRONâ€™s style and imagination has a lot to do with its success and that type of technology has drastically improved and fits the stylized nature of the franchise. This is certainly one of the most unique shows Iâ€™ve ever seen from Walt Disney Television animation!
This was a great way to preview the new TRON series. The setup is very well done except that one flaw and the characters in my opinion are more interesting than the Flynns (although Jeff Bridges is awesome! And Garret Hedlund is good!). Itâ€™s a TRON story about the programs that live there where there are real stakes and consequences and with TRON as a truly important focal character as opposed to the supporting character. Here is where TRONâ€™s legacy on the Grid will be explored and will stand against CLUâ€™s regime!
VERDICT:4.8 Recognizers out of 5!
Join me next time where I review a childhood favorite of mine! A great anime film called Unico in the Island of Magic!