“Tron: Legacy” Review

January 23, 2011 at 4:03 PM | Posted in (All Posts) | Leave a comment
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It’s very easy to misunderstand a film like “Tron: Legacy.” Fans of the original “Tron” have had to wait 28 years for this film to materialize, so how can anyone expect a new audience to be interested in a sequel when the original was released in 1982? At the same time, this sequel has been one of the most anticipated movies of 2010, so just what is it about “Tron: Legacy” that is so appealing?

With so many questions, it’s needless to say that “Tron: Legacy” has a lot of hype and a lot of pressure to live up to.

For the sake of the review, I have to be honest and state that I have NOT seen the original “Tron” film from 1982. Slap me on the wrist and stop reading if you like, but have you tried finding a copy of the film? It’s much harder than it seems.

But anyone born in the late ‘80s to early ‘90s is likely familiar with the concept of Tron.

The original film was basically about a “living video game world” called the “Grid.” Kevin Flynn, played by Jeff Bridges in both the original and the sequel, is a computer software engineer. Flynn somehow hacks his way into the computerized world, filled with “light cycles” and “energy discs” and artificial intelligence. The original Tron is a film that is much easier explained when seen than actually talked about.

Nonetheless, I saw “Tron: Legacy” a few weeks ago and I was impressed – plain and simple. Having no real expectations myself, the movie was just a visual delight. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, a relatively unknown director by Hollywood’s standards, Disney took a huge risk in giving a franchise like Tron to Kosinski, but it was obviously a wise choice.

The main character of the film is Sam Flynn, played by Garrett Hedlund. The story has ties to the original Tron, but it really isn’t necessary to know that much about the predecessor.  “Legacy” opens by telling us that Kevin Flynn, back in “reality,” had came across a technological breakthrough that was going to change the world. Kevin Flynn disappears one night, never to be seen again. Sam grows up in a world where he is living off his father’s success, but never putting his talents to their full potential because of the mystery of his father’s disappearance.

In the modern day, Sam is 27 years old and through a series of events, stumbles upon the entrance to the “Grid” where his father has been trapped for all this time.

Sam gets involved in “light cycle” races and “disc games” of his own, comes in contact with his father, and together with Quorra – a human called an “ISO” that is revealed to be the breakthrough discovery Kevin had created all those years ago, the three try to escape from the digital world. All the while, “Clu” – an artificially intelligent (villainous) computer version of Kevin Flynn, try to stop them from escaping and make his own way into the real world.

The plot may seem absurd to those who haven’t seen it, but it really plays as a backup to just how pleasing the movie is on the eyes and ears. The soundtrack for the film is entirely done by “Daft Punk” and it fits so well. Seeing all these bright neon colors on buildings and vehicles in a world so dark really does make you believe this is what an actual computerized world would look like.

“Tron: Legacy” feels like a film that could go head-to-head against summer blockbusters, but I can’t express how good it felt to see a film like this during the snowy months of December. If you haven’t had the chance to see it, the film is still in theaters and you could do much worse with $8 dollars. Even if you simply see the film in 2D instead of 3D, you’ve still got a great viewing experience ahead of you; in fact, I would almost recommend saving the extra dollars and see it in 2D.

All in all, “Tron: Legacy” is the kind of film I keep thinking about weeks after seeing it.  It’s nothing that will win any major awards for the acting quality, but anyone with the slightest love for Daft Punk or computers or video games will find themselves thinking, “…that was really cool.” For me, it was THE definition of “escapism,” and I mean that in the best way possible.

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