Who would have thought that a relatively average B-Grade movie
from 1982 would spawn a Hollywood blockbuster almost 30 years later? Not
only does Tron Legacy 3D do just that but it also tips its hat to
nostalgia with some great references and "flashbacks" to the original
The good points on Tron
Legacy is that the movie can be enjoyed by everyone and you really don't
need any previous knowledge of the original. Then you have the amazing
special effects that simply come to life on IMAX 3D and of course, those
very cool Tron suits with the lights. The only bad point in Tron Legacy
is the sometimes convoluted story that will leave many scratching their
head and although flashbacks are used to fill in the gaps, at times it
is disjointed and a little nauseating at the same time.
Fortunately the amazing
CGI effects and interesting characters have enough momentum to push you
along with the story as you journey into an almost Matrix type
adventure of this philosophical virtual world. The story behind Tron
Legacy revolves around the disappearance of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges)
during the 80's who was the creator of the Grid and CEO of ENCOM. His
company was originally a video game company but it ventured into the
world of operating systems and is now a billion dollar company.
However in the present,
his billionaire son Sam Flynn is now 27, the reckless heir of ENCOM who
after a dangerous stunt receives a strange page from his father. That's
right... remember pagers?
that this is a hoax, he decides to investigate his father's old arcade
where the page came from. After discovering his father's secret office,
he activates an old computer and is teleported into the amazing world of
the Grid. A virtual reality that contains virtual life forms.
Just like the classic
game Tron, Sam is thrust into this deadly gladiatorial game as discs and
programs (the entities of the Grid) engage in battle. As Sam is almost
killed, he is plucked out of the battle by a familiar voiced "program"
and is forced to meet the ruler of this world, Clu (CGI Jeff Bridges).
Clu was one of the
first entities that Kevin Flynn created to help make the perfect utopia
in this virtual world. Unfortunately for the denizens of the Grid, he
has been corrupted from his initial programming and to make matters
worse for Sam, he is the spitting image of his father during his prime.
Rescued by Quorra (Olivia
virtual prodigy of his Kevin Flynn, she finally reunites him with his
father after almost 20 years. There goal is simple, get to the portal
before Clu does in order to prevent his army from invading the
At times, Tron Legacy
is a predictable roller coaster ride but it's a very exhilarating
journey, courtesy of the very likeable characters. Sam Flynn (Garrett
Hedlund) is the archetype everyman action hero who has charisma but is
somehow transformed into a Neo character (ala Matrix). He has some great
moments, including one-liners and how he became a superhero in the Grid
was never answered.
Jeff Bridges plays a
brilliant Obi Wan type character for Kevin Flynn. He has this aura of
wisdom surrounding him. Bridges also voices the CGI Clu with his
malevolent and eerie personality that is quite chilling to watch.
Joining the Flynn family is Quorra (Olivia Wilde) who looks like another
video game character (Faith from Mirror's Edge) with her innocent
demeanour girl power and ass kicking attitude. It's a joy to watch her
character grow in the movie and even though she plays an advanced
"program", she is probably the most human of them all.
It's these characters
that make the movie, even with all the plot holes and poor explanations.
However what makes Tron Legacy different from the usual Hollywood action
movie is that director Joseph Kosinski focuses on the characters, their
relationships and how they fit into this amazing virtual world,
including the supporting cast. Whether it's the amazingly gorgeous Gem
(Beau Garrett) or the comical and flamboyant Castor/Zuse played by the
delightful Michael Sheen, they bring something unique yet vaguely
familiar into this virtual story. My only gripe with the story is the
lack of Bruce Boxleitner as Tron and even though he plays Alan Bradley,
we were hoping to get a glimpse of program of the hour... Tron himself.
repeatedly, the CGI in the movie is truly stunning and when the 3D
effects kick in, there is definitely a wow factor involved. The CGI
version of Jeff Bridges from his younger years had quite a few people
fooled. But for those with a keen sense of detail, you can tell that
it's not the actor but rather computer effects. It looks good but
something is missing.
Nonetheless, there are
plenty of amazing action scenes and good use of IMAX and 3D. In terms of
IMAX, I definitely recommend to see the movie on giant screen because
there are several scenes filmed in IMAX that look visually surreal once
it feels the whole screen. Then you have the Daft Punk soundtrack that
only enhances the overall experience of Tron Legacy and even though
there are a few short falls of the story, it's easily the best
blockbuster movie of the year. Wow!