Joe Coyle 19/12/2010
As cold as Kubrick. Visually ambitious. Clinical. Monochrome. Tron Legacy arrives 28 years after the original.
Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) software programmer and CEO of ENCOM international mysteriously disappeared 20 years ago leaving a young son Sam behind. Fast forward a couple of years and Sam (Garrett Hedlund) is breaking into ENCOM's headquarters to upload a malicious programme on to mainframe to release a version of the companies brand new operating system for free on the internet to the disapproval of the company elders. Sam is subsequently caught after base jumping from the company building trying to evade capture and is eventually released by the police and returns home.
Later on that evening Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), a friend of Sam's father, executive consultant from ENCOM, pays Sam a visit and reveals he has received a mysterious page from the abandoned “Flynn's Arcade”. Sam goes to investigate and while searching finds a hidden office beneath the arcade. While trying to find information on his fathers computer in this office, Sam activates a laser which transports him to the Grid, the world which exists inside the computer where he is reconciled with his father and they both venture to escape the Grid.
First time director Joseph Kosinski helms the film with assured hands. Tron Legacy is beautifully aesthetic whilst remaining faithful to the world of the Grid from the original. Its use of colour coded bad guys makes the film easier to understand. Tron Legacy is about spectacle more than anything else. Using 2d in the real world and 3d in the computer world gives the film an added depth which helps the film exhilarate the senses along with a superb soundtrack by French dance duo Daft Punk.
Knowledge of the original is not needed. A flash back at the beginning of the film explains to the viewer exactly what is going on, although that said the exposition in the middle of the film reduces the urgency of the film tenfold. Massive plot holes just don't seem to matter. Lots of themes are frustratingly brushed against but not explored and the door is left wide open for a sequel.
Of the cast, Garrett Hedlund is a little bit wooden which is in complete contrast to Olivia Wilde as Quorra who lights up the screen and shines with such luminescence it marks her out as a star for the future. Jeff Bridges is dependably excellent and makes the most of a script which gives him a slightly underwritten part for his talents.
The script is at best serviceable. Tron Legacy is all about the visual adventure. Using 2d in the real world and 3d in the computer world gives the film an added depth which helps the film exhilarate the senses along with a superb soundtrack by French dance duo Daft Punk. What is lacking is emotional depth to connect with the characters and the story, but that said it is a visual feast which I liked very much but didn't love.