Tron and Tron: Legacy are 28 years apart, and it’s not hard to see why they waited so long to deliver a sequel. Tron was one of the first films to use CGI, and watching it today you can really tell. The film was an initial failure, with the actual game making more money than the film. It gained a following much later, and advances in CGI have come a long way. So it makes sense that so much time has passed before a sequel finally came to be. The original had some great ideas, and they definitely predicted in some ways how technology would advance.
The film told the story of Flynn who was a former employee of the company ENCOM, who has stolen all of his game ideas. He breaks into the company building and basically gets abducted into the computer (the digital world) to a place known as the Grid. The Grid is run by a dictator known as the Master Control Program, who makes the programs compete in games. Flynn with the help of Tron (a program created by his friend and college Alan) needs to sever this world’s connection with the Master Control Program, and get back to the real world. This then brings us to Tron: Legacy, which actually has a very similar premise, and in some ways it feels like a reboot of the original idea. Naturally now this will go into spoilers if you haven’t seen either film so you have been warned. Tron: Legacy begins with Kevin Flynn (played by a de-aged Jeff Bridges) 7 years after the original film. He’s in charge of ENCOM and he’s telling his son Sam the basics from the original film. We then see that Kevin Flynn disappears without a trace. We fast-forward a good 20 years into the future and Sam (Garrett Hedlund) is grown up, he breaks into ENCOM and hacks into their system. We find out he is actually the majority shareholder and doesn’t really have that much to do with the company. His father’s old friend Alan (played again by Bruce Boxleitner) approaches Sam later that night to tell him he received a page from Kevin with the number from his old arcade. Sam investigates and discovers a hidden office; he is then transported to the Grid as a user. He soon finds out this world is run by CLU his father’s original program (who is a dictator similar to the Master Control Program), and that his father has been trapped in this world for all these years. With the help of his father and a program called Quorra (Olivia Wilde) they plan to take back the Grid and stop CLU.
Yes that was a very long synopsis, but I feel the need to explain the original in order to give this film a run down, it is easier to understand if you have seen the original film. You can see the obviously similarities, but it is a story that works (at least for me it did). I’d like to address the issues I have with this film and they lie with the script. Perhaps it would have been better if this film was easier to understand without any prior knowledge of the first but it isn’t. There are several plot holes at the beginning of the film, and some of the dialogue is truly horrible. Joseph Kosinski did a decent job as director but struggled with some script issues. However I found myself putting that all aside because I loved being in this world. I always liked the character of Kevin Flynn, and there was already an investment there for him. Nothing changed with this, he was still a great character played so perfectly by Jeff Bridges. I also found myself drawn to Sam Flynn immediately; I can’t even put my finger on it. He just came off as exciting, troubled and likable if not somewhat crazy as well. Once we get to the Grid I was in love, the place looked amazing and it was again exciting. I wanted to be on this journey with Sam, and I kind of didn’t want to leave.
On the acting side of things Jeff Bridges pretty much owns, he was great. I mean even when the dialogue was on the awful side he some how made it work. He’s just such an incredible talent and it shows in everything he does. I was a little hesitant about Garrett Hedlund before I saw the film over rumours I had heard about him in this film. To be honest I thought he was fine; when the dialogue was good, he was good. The character seemed to come naturally to him, he did struggle when the script wasn’t so good but he tried. There was a decent amount of father/son chemistry between the actors and it worked for me. Olivia Wilde was fantastic; she brought so much to the character of Quorra, which could have easily been rather forgettable character. She was likable, funny, innocent yet also quite badass, I think it is a real testament to Wilde and her acting ability. She has come a long way since her stint on The OC and easily one of my favourite young actresses working today. We also have people in smaller roles such as Bruce Boxleitner who was great, James Frain as CLU’s right hand man who was pretty good and of course Michael Sheen who hammed it up to my completely enjoyment.
The film not only is a visual delight but it is an audio delight as well. The real strong point of this film is the soundtrack by Daft Punk. For me it was the soundtrack for 2010, every piece of music was perfect. It fit the feel of the film, and really each piece of music fit so well with each scene it was in. This definitely would have been a completely difference experience without this soundtrack. I have since listened to it over and over; I am even listening to it now while I am writing this review. I don’t have any problems recommending this film; I loved it. I was entertained and I had a lot of fun, which is what I want out of a film. I experienced this in IMAX 3D and it was amazing, the Melbourne IMAX has the world’s third largest screen and the picture and sound quality were perfection. It isn’t quite the same as watching it on a regular cinema screen. I do believe this will be quite an awesome experience on Blu-ray.