Tron: Legacy

22 Dec

Title: Tron: Legacy
Year:
2010
Director:
Joseph Kosinski
Writers:
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, based on the story by themselves and Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, and on the characters by Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird
Starring:
Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Bruce Boxleitner, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, James Frain
MPAA Rating:
PG, sequences of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language
Runtime:
127 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating:
7.6
Rotten Tomatoes:
48%

 

I’m a big fan of the original Tron, I’ve been in love with its style and look and story since I started seeing films, and as a sci-fi geek it’s a film you really can’t ignore. And now in 2010, nearly thirty years since the release of that cult film, comes its more commercial sequel, Tron: Legacy. And, equipped with a huge $170 million budget, it manages to be every bit as visually orgasmic and stimulating as the first one. The story and the characters may not be as finely tuned as one would maybe like, but in the midst of all the visual awesomeness in display here, that really doesn’t matter all that much.

Garrett Hedlund takes the reigns here as the film’s lead character, Sam Flynn, the son of the original movie’s main character, Kevin Flynn. And in this one Sam Flynn must go into the digital world we all know and love in search for his dad. Mr. Hedlund is a promising talent, the guy is twenty-six and prior to this one I only knew him from his turns in 2004’s amazing Friday Night Lights and the unfortunate Eragon adaptation in 2006. And now here he is, making the most of his Disney mega-budget vehicle and already signed on to play Dean Moriarty in Walter Salles’ adaptation of On the Road, which has a seriously cool cast.

I know some people will take beef with the fact that there’s pretty much no substance in the story or the characters. Laremy Legel’s review for Film.com said “everything is eye candy, and absolutely nothing is brain candy”, which is actually an accurate assessment of what we get here in Tron: Legacy, but then again, such was the case with the original film, too. And honestly these are films that are meant to be all about the visual stuff. Tron: Legacy, much like its predecessor has humans in it, but it’s really all about how much the machines can dazzle us. And boy can they do just that, much like the original was nearly three decades ago, this is as state of the art as a film can be nowadays.

So I’m not gonna take any points away from this film from lacking in substance, because I knew that getting into it, and because it more than makes up for it with its visuals. I mean, this is a film set within a digital world, so that takes away any sort of logical ground from it right there, and considering that as soon as we arrive there we are bombard with grandiose scenes that are visually stimulating, as well as audibly stimulating thanks to a cool score by Daft Punk. So with so much stuff going for our eyes to feast in, we really don’t care about how little is stimulating our brains. Seriously, the sheer scope of the world and the special effects is tremendous, it’s an experience that truthfully engulfs you in its spectacle. And if you’re like me and love videogames, you’ll most definitely enjoy the style first-time director Joseph Kosinski has embedded into all the action sequences here, it all looks seriously nifty.

As I said, the film has young Sam Flynn, who has grown an orphan, going into the digital world that fascinated and ultimately kidnapped his father to get him back. But we also get to see Kevin Flynn, and the Dude himself is back to play him, as we get to see Jeff Bridges in three forms. First we get to see him in flashbacks in the real world, Mr. Bridges having been digitally made to look younger, with the same effects they used in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And then of course we see the two incarnations of Mr. Bridges inside the digital world, one is Clu, which you’ll remember from the past movie and is like the Mr. Bridges I just described, sounding exactly like Mr. Bridges but being CGI-ed to look younger. Clu is sort of the villain of the story, the digital doppelganger created by Kevin Flynn who now wants to take over. And then there’s the real Mr. Bridges as Kevin Flynn, trapped inside the creation he so adored. And Mr. Bridges is pretty damn amazing as the three of them, feeling convincing in each of his three roles, but then again this should come as no surprise considering the man we’re talking about.

Tron: Legacy is a film that feels loyal to its fanbase, and true to its predecessor. It stays true to the amazing world it created, and it still has the brilliant visuals, even if the plot is seriously messy it all still looks amazing, and the score is terrific. And it has in Jeff Bridges a great guy to base on, and in Garrett Hedlund a fresh face to build upon. Not to mention that the unbelievably sexy Olivia Wilde is here too, further helping me make my point that Tron: Legacy is, if nothing else, a feast for the eyes.

Grade: B+

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