This isn't to say the original Tron was top-notch. We're talking about a technological movie from the early eighties. How good can that really be? But after seeing Legacy in 3D at IMAX, let's just say I was impressed. Big time. Normally, I don't recommend movies. But, this one was different.
Now, I've already mentioned in an old post that you should never begin writing after having watched a movie and I am not encouraging that here! What I am encouraging is for you to see what a story -- a good story -- is all about, and how it might just help you with your writing too.
- It is Transformational: This story was all about THE story. You know, kid loses parents, finds out he has special gift/powers to help this other "world" from being destroyed, overtaken, etc, gains understanding and friends, and ... our hero transforms: he is a new creation and has a new meaning in life. Moral: This story concept, however many times repeated, if done right, makes a great story. (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings.)
- It is Tribulation: This is where the hero has to learn and adapt in order to become a better person. And it's where the movie did a decent job. Sam Flynn has to immediately adapt in order to survive, mesh into a new world, and save his father. Our unlikely hero also has to, ultimately, risk losing him too. All of these are elements needed for a good story. And they're in this movie.
- It is Triumphant: I won't tell you how the story ends, but I will say that the movie shows battles, gives the characters goals to reach and hurdles to jump over in order to gain victory. That's the essence of a great story.
- It is Truthful: I don't mean in the sense of actual Truth. This movie is as far-fetched as me making it into the grid through my old Atari game console. But a timeless move transcends eras. We get truth here; we see the battle between good and evil, free will and the desire for perfection. (This is where the Jesus theme sort of pops into the story, but that's a whole different kind of grid).
- It is Tripled: So, it's true that most movies -- ones that do well--come in threes. I'm expecting Legacy to have a follow up, since there was major room for various interpretations in the end. And if it is anything like the second one, I am all for it.