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|Directed by||Johnathan Strauss|
|Written by||Gary Harris|
|Screenplay by||Jessica Ivanski|
|Story by||Johnathan Strauss|
|Starring||Harrison Boulderburg, John Atkins|
|Distributed by||MJ-USA Studios|
|Release date(s)||September 19, 2015|
|Running time||140 minutes|
|Gross revenue||500 million|
Retros is a 2015 sci-fi film produced and released by MJ-USA studios. Based in Geattle, Eastshield, it follows the adventure of a young penguin named John Wynn in search of his father, the famous video game coder Brandon Wynn, through the boundaries of the real world and the digital world. After receiving a message from his father from his long closed arcade, he traveled through Brandon's machine into the digital world, a dystopian city in ruins after his Copied Likeness Unit, or CLU, takes over the once bustling digital server of his game, Retros. He must find a way to save himself and his father, alongside Qworah, a digital penguin of a different biology, from his evil empire, or risk everything and be stuck in side the server forever.
Critics praised the movie for it's futuristic theme and high tech effects, but bashed it for it's lack of plot line or advancement of character plot.
In 1991, Brandon Wynn, leader of Wynn Enterprises, mysteriously disappears without any trace, leaving behind John Wynn, his son, to his parents and his own wit to survive a life without his own father. In his will, John is the largest shareholder of the company, yet expresses little to no interest due to the amount of suffering he went though as a child.
Henry Wardford, an executive of the company, comes to visit John at his secret home along a riverside. He pleads for John to return to the company, and that it would be better with him there than not. In addition, Henry informs John that he received a message from Brandon's office, closed now for well over 20 years. Asked to investigate, John goes over to the arcade, still intact and functional. Upstairs, he finds no evidence of him but notices one of his games, Retros, part of a revolving door of sorts. After inserting a coin to play it, it opens to reveal a hidden stairwell down to the basement of the building. Inside, he discovers Brandon's secret office, a server room containing his computer, mementos of John, and a clock counting down to something. After fiddling around, he is accidentally sent into the Frame, the server space for Retros within Wynn Enterprises.
Quickly captured by CLU's renegade empire, he sent to an arena for "the Trial", a set of challenges in which programs are to battle to the death, until the finally are to face Sinzer, the master warrior in Retros. Mid fight, however, Sinzer realizes that John is a user, and takes him before CLU, to which he attempts to find out everything about him by posing as his father, Brandon. Tricked, CLU gains info about him and sentences him to a lightquad race, where it would be John's team versus his.
Inevitably, they are destined to lose until they are saved by Qworah, Brandon's "apprentice," who rescues John and takes him to Brandon's hideout outside the server lines. There, he meets Brandon, who explains that over 20 years ago, while working on Retros, he stumbled upon a special type of program called ESOs. Having triple-helixed DNA, they were a special type of program that was neither biological nor entirely mechanical. Brandon suggested that they be kept alive to be researched upon, while CLU suggested they were to be destroyed due to their "imperfections." Arguing, CLU eventually set up Brandon and almost killed him, forcing him to be stuck as the gateway to the outside world closed.
After hearing this, John was outraged that he chose a silly server over his childhood, and stormed off into his guest chambers. Qworah joins him and suggests that there would be a way for him to get everyone out safely, including Qworah, and informs him of Chromus, a program that was one of the original ones of the server, in the downtown area of the city. After travelling, he arrives at the Final Spark club, where Chromus is supposed to be. Oblivious to him, he walks past the guards to the spokesperson for Chromus, who informs that he is, in fact, Chromus, and recognizes John as the son of Wynn.
Chromus suggests that they forge an identity disk to get past security, which he was going to go get done until CLU's army arrived, having been informed of the plan for John to arrive. A battle ensues with Qworah showing up even to assist him, knowing something was up. After being defeated, Brandon shows up, engaging master control of the server and escorting the two out. While doing so, his disk, the key to opening the gateway back outside, is stolen. After arriving to a lightship dock, they take a ship to another area, while discussing the injuries sustained by the both of them.
Brandon informs John that Qworah is one of the ESO programs that he discovered, and that they are incredibly resilient. As they discuss this, they realize that the ship is heading toward a gigantic ship, known as the Reconcilator, and is part of CLU's army. While on there, they discover that CLU plans on entering the real world to establish a perfect empire of programs. Bent on preventing this, the three begin planning on how to steal back the disk.
Brandon creates a distraction while John uses a flight system to obtain the disk from the top tower. CLU is alerted immediately and begins to find them. They meet up at a flying machine and use it to escape to head to the gateway back to the real world. Tailed by Sinzer and CLU, they are locked in an arms battle until Sinzer and CLU go down. CLU snatches an extra flying machine stick from Sinzer as he falls into the Sea of Beginnings. His colors begin to change as his corruption is gone, exposing the original protector of the game, Retros.
As the three fly, they finally lose CLU and arrive at the gateway. As they walk, CLU arrives and stops Brandon from advancing forward. He demands that the key be given to him or face death. A small fight ensues as John and Qworah make it past him. As they enter the gateway, CLU tries to follow, only to have Brandon begin reintegration of his copy back into himself. As the two leave, Brandon and CLU reintegrate, erasing the entire server and leaving only the gateway as a bright blue point.
Qworah and John exit the arcade, with Henry waiting for him, asking for the news. John replies that loose ends have been tied up, and that he'll be at the office tomorrow. John and Qworah then ride off into the sunset, back in the real world.
Retros was said to be inspired by the concept of virtual reality and placement on a digital software system, similar to several other currently existing systems, but with a twist that if they die in there, they die in real life, unable to be brought back ever again. In addition, each mode of transportation was inspired by actual forms of electronic communication or data sharing techniques, employed as actual vehicles.
Critics say also that Retros may have taken other elements from a similar movie called Reality Check, but the director denies any sort of plagiarism to the movie.
The movie notably explores the moral side of life and how making choices can disrupt an entire order of events, and how love for someone can drive someone to sacrifice everything to let them be safe. This is notable when Brandon reintegrates with CLU, killing both of them and wiping the server.
MJ-USA was supposedly in discussions with the director for a possible prequel to the movie. Set in 1990, the movie explores the initial creation of the server and what led up to Brandon being trapped in there, with the ESOs and Retros the figure set to appear in the movie. With a release date of 2017, production has already begun, but has yet to be officially named anything yet, being named only Retros: Reconfigured.
A soundtrack was released ten days after the premiere of the movie, featuring work from Raft Sunk, an electronic band. Critics say that the soundtrack is even better than the movie, and they stuck around just for the wonderful composition from the band. Several other artists were featured as well for help on the soundtrack, such as Cadence.
|1.||"Initialization"||Raft Punk, Cadence||1:54|
|3.||"Incognito" (renamed Stealth on some versions)||Raft Punk||6:24|
|4.||"Welcome to RETROS"||Raft Punk||4:59|
|5.||"Journey"||Raft Punk, Cadence||2:29|
|6.||"Adagio for Retros" (longest song on the album)||Raft Punk||8:41|
|7.||"Data Wipe"||Raft Punk||2:30|
|8.||"Lunar Module"||Raft Punk||4:59|
|9.||"Final Battle"||Raft Punk||5:49|
- The movie is based off of TRON: Legacy.
- Lightquads are based off of Lightcycles, where a Lightquad is actually in the movie(!).
- Some sets were based off of actual locations in Geattle.