Australian Council on Children and the Media

Tron: Legacy

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Not suitable under 10, PG to 12 (Violence, Disturbing scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Tron: Legacy
  • a review of Tron: Legacy completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 22 December 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to violence and disturbing scenes
Children 8 - 12 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and frightening scenes
Children 13 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Tron: Legacy
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild science fiction violence
Length 125 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Twenty-one years after Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) developer of the Tron video game and owner of the multi-billion dollar computer company Encom disappears, his son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) shows no interest in his father’s company. He is a rebellious thrill seeker whose main aim in life seems to be to sabotage his own company. Sam receives a visit from Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), his father’s best friend, who tells Sam that he received a message from his father on his pager the previous night. Sam visits his father’s old video games arcade, which has been closed up for the past twenty years. There he discovers a hidden room containing his father’s experimental teleportation equipment and is teleported into the “Grid”, a digital world populated by computer programs in human form, where gladiator styled games take place.

Within moments of arrival, Sam is apprehended by guards and forced to fight for his life in gladiatorial games. However, when Sam is cut during a fight and a drop of his blood falls to the ground, he is identified as a user rather than a program and the fight is stopped. Sam is taken to a program called Clu, who Sam initially believes to be his father. However Clu, who was created by Kevin Flynn in his own image, has become corrupt and is now an evil Overlord. Clu forces Sam to participate in “The Challenge of the Grid” but just before Sam is about to be permanently eliminated, he is rescued by a mysterious black helmeted player. Sam’s rescuer is  Quorra (Olivia Wilde), who takes Sam to meet with his father Kevin Flynn

We learn that Clu has been trying to capture Sam’s father for the past twenty years, needing the information contained within Kevin Flynn’s life disk to escape to the real world. Sam realises that the only way to stop Clu is to return to the real world where he can easily delete Clu’s program from the Grid. His quest is now to do this before being stopped by Clu and his minions.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Cyber worlds; gladiatorial battles; death and disappearance of parents

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Tron: Legacy contains CGI generated and at times intense, action violence, including fighting, explosions and bike and car chases. While the film does not depict blood and gore, younger children may find some of the injuries depicted scary and or disturbing. Examples include:

  • A young boy slaps away his grandmother’s hand as she attempts to comfort him.
  • A character in the grid world commits suicide by jumping off the edge of a building. He is zapped by an energy force and his body disintegrates, bursting in a cloud of computer generated pixels.  
  • During a gladiator style fight between Sam and a number of other combatants, all wielding razor sharp discs, we see more than one man have his body severed at the waist with his body shattering in a shower of pixels. A man falls through a hole in a glass-like floor, his body shattering in a cloud of pixels and another man is decapitated, his body also disintegrating.
  • After an intense fight between Sam and another man, Sam falls hard on his back on the ground. The attacker straddles Sam’s chest to decapitate him, but stops the fight when he sees a drop of Sam’s blood fall to the ground.    
  • We see a flash back of Clu killing Tron, using his disc to stab Tron as Tron’s body disintegrates in a cloud of pixels.
  • While at a nightclub in the Grid World, Sam and Quorra are attacked by five men wielding Chinese styled fighting sticks. Quorra is hit across the face with a fighting stick wielded by one of the attackers, and has her arm severed above the elbow. There is no blood just a pixel line where the arm was cut off, and we see Quorra lying motionless on the ground with her eyes open as if dead. Later we hear that she will recover and see her arm regenerating after her programming is fixed by Flynn.
  • Quorra talks about guards executing her people in the streets during genocide and about being surrounded by guards about to kill her when she was rescued by Kevin.
  • Sam kicks two guards off a landing to fall to their deaths.
  • Clu punches and kicks Kevin in the face and knocks Sam to the ground. Kevin uses an unseen force to pull Clu to his body and they briefly integrate and then explode, like a nuclear bomb exploding.  

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • A man with part of his face missing, the missing eye socket, tissue and brain replaced with a pixelated substance.
  • A man with a large wound running across the side of his face running from forehead to jaw.
  • Many of the guards in the Grid World are dressed in black with black helmets covering their faces, giving them a threatening intimidating appearance.
  • A man has his hand severed and the severed hand remaining attached to a baton before disintegrated in a cloud of pixels.  

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this group are also likely to be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • both classic and modern Ducati motor bikes
  • brand name beer  

There is also a lot of associated merchandise being marketed.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Sam is forcefully stripped by four women and makes the comment “The Zipper works”.
  • In a nightclub in the Grid World the owner makes the comment that men were “preoccupied”, and that he is the provider of “entertainment and diversion”.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Throughout the film we see women wearing skin tight jumpsuits
  • In a nightclub in the Grid World women sit on the laps of men and the men caress them.    
  • Clu strokes the side of a woman’s face.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Sam drinks a can of beer and hands a can to another man.
  • People consume drinks in the night club; the drinks are unidentified and no intoxicated behaviour is displayed.
  • We see Clu make a man an unidentified cocktail style drink

Coarse language

Tron: Legacy contains brief mild coarse language and name calling. Examples include:

  • Damn it; freaks; losers; screwed it up

In a nutshell

Tron: Legacy is a science fiction action adventure aimed at a teenage audience. The film is visually stunning and will easily entertain its intended audience. Parents should be aware that, despite the lack of blood and gore, the intensity of the violence coupled with occasional scary images may disturb and frighten younger viewers. Younger children may also find the film’s running time of 125 minutes too long.     

The main messages from this movie are:

  • some things are worth risking your life for.
  • family bonds are very strong.

 Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Selflessness: Quorra displayed selfless acts on a number of occasions, risking her life to protect the lives of those she cared about.
  • Care and responsibility, as shown by Kevin and San towards each other.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Persecution and genocide. In the film a specific group of people within the Grid World were persecuted by Clu, then hunted down and almost eliminated.

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