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Tron Legacy 3D IMAX Movie Review - -

Tron Legacy 3D

presents a film directed by Joseph Kosinski
Screenplay by  Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde and Bruce Boxleitner
Running Time: 127 mins
Rating: PG
Released: January 6, 2011



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 film.

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? Initially believing 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 Wilde), a 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 real-world.

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.

As mentioned 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!


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