"The Grid. A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they traveled through the computer. Ships, motorcycles. With the circuits like freeways. I kept dreaming of a world I thought I'd never see. And then, one day... I got in." -Kevin Flynn
Since first hearing about the possibility of a sequel in late 2008, to the confirmation and test footage shown at Comic-Con 2009, I have been SO excited to see this movie. Though Disney didn't release the first feature trailer until March 2010, concept images and storyboard sketches were slowly creeping out onto the internet for anyone curious enough to get a sneak peek at the next Tron. I read every article, update, or blog post I could find. I was simply impatient for this movie to release. Thanks to the trailer, Tron: Legacy was one of the movies that has stayed in the forefront of my mind for months. I wanted to love it.
The film opens on an average day in 1989. The camera zooms through the city only to stop at Kevin Flynn's house, the architect and creator of Tron (Jeff Bridges), where you see him telling his seven year-old son, Sam, a bedtime story about the world of Tron that he created.
That was the night Kevin Flynn disappeared. For the first time since Avatar, Tron: Legacy uses the technology to make us experience something new and special again.
Flash forward twenty years, we find Sam (Garrett Hedlund) has become a smart, stubborn biker who refuses to take over ENCOM, his father's company. After receiving a mysterious message from Flynn's arcade, Sam checks it out to find a hidden office underneath the arcade. A laser beam transports him into the game. Back on the Grid, but things have changed since 1982.
Debut directer, Joe Kosinski, and his team map out a breathtaking world. Dark, yet full of light. It had an almost apocalyptic-like tone. Every surface was outlined in light. It was absolutely gorgeous to look at. But you didn't get much time to. Twenty minues into the Grid, the pace is kicked into ludicrous speed (Spaceballs joke...)! Sam is forced into a gladiator-like arena to fight with the disks they were given. The martial arts were crazy and the beauty of the Grid held on.
The most spectacular scene was the light-bike battle royale. Leaving behind bright ribbons of light in the stunning multi-level arena, the bikes were beyond cool. Daft Punk provides smooth electronic tones combined with orchestral sounds to create a soundtrack worthy of the world of Tron. (I listened to it twice while typing this post.)
But stunning visuals and a good soundtrack aren't good enough to make a film great. You also need good writing, and thats where this movie was lacking. The story itself held up, but the dialogue was a little slow at times. Especially in the middle. I would've hoped to see a better script from writers of Lost, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, but they do a good job of keeping the characters anchored.
Little known actor Garrett Hedlund, who played Sam Flynn, proved a solid lead.
Olivia Wilde (Quorra) provides us with something naturally beautiful to look instead of the Grid. She looked good in that almost dominatrix-like outfit. Just to put that out there.
But the best acting overall goes to a computer program. Created by a Jeff Bridges body double and Benjamin Button's Oscar-winning motion-capture artists, CLU was an amazing achievement of itself. You never really believe you're watching a young Jeff, which is obvious from the first time they show his face, but its remarkable nonetheless.
Jeff Bridges brings the humanity to this film as Kevin Flynn, where CLU lacked. He is full of wisdom and even a little humor (“You’re messing with my Zen thing, man!”).
If you haven't seen the original, you mind get a little lost, but not to worry, you will catch on. Nothing really makes sense anyways. Just don't think about it and enjoy the stunning visuals.
This is what 3D movies are supposed to look like.
This film carries its weight visually and musically, but dramatically needs some work. I would see it again for the visuals alone.