Sunday, 9 September 2012

Tron Legacy (2010)

A Disney production through and through, Tron Legacy is a predictable, yet ultimately satisfying and visually stunning experience.

Tron Legacy picks up 30 years after its predecessor (Tron (1982)), both in terms of what it delivers and in plot. It's pretty standalone storywise though, so there's no need to be too apprehensive if you haven't seen or can't remember the original. Legacy is set in a world where the Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) of the original has been missing for twenty years after establishing an astounding successful computer/software company. His son, Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), receives a message that might help him find his father, and leads him down the rabbit hole into the alien computer world of The Grid.

The world Sam finds himself in is fantastically realised: a digital world where everything is made up of clean, angular lines, bright neon lights and computer programs in human form. Everything is beautifully crafted. The world created for Tron Legacy is elegant and ethereal, where the lines between solid structures and constructs made of pure light aren’t so clear. The CGI and set design sell this universe in a way that makes the film feel as cutting edge as its predecessor was back in its original release.

My only gripe with the performances given by the cast is with respect to the alien world of The Grid. Sam, played by Garrett Hedlund, is dropped here unexpectedly and is seemingly nonplussed by the entire place. Sure, he’s a bit concerned about why he has to fight for his life, or how he’s going to save the world, his father and his new friend Quorra (Olivia Wilde) but the fact that he’s seeing what cyberspace looks like or that he’s able to walk on solid goddamn light doesn’t seem to even cause a blip on his radar. For all the other characters its either the only world they’ve known, or they’ve been there long enough for it to become normal but Sam should getting blown away by everything that he looks at but just isn’t. On the flipside, Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde are entertaining. Bridges as the jaded old man who is reluctant to act and Wilde as his young and enthusiastic apprentice. Both are aspects of Sam’s personality. It’s just a shame that the most interesting parts of him are represented by other characters.

The story plays out pretty much how you expect it to, there isn’t really anything that surprising. But that tends to be the way Disney movies go. What you’re here for is how it’s told. The magical visual design, the thumping electronic soundtrack provided by robot DJs Daft Punk and some interesting performances from the supporting cast are all reasons to see Tron Legacy.

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