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Tron Legacy (DVD)
Member Name: pmcds
Tron Legacy (DVD)
Advantages: Effects, respect to the 1982 original, clever use of digital elements
Disadvantages: Quite run of the mill in many ways
1982's Tron really made an effort to integrate a digital world with our own with special effects that were impressive at the time. I found the visuals impressive, but also somewhat confusing in terms of characterisation and some of the action scenes. Jeff Bridges played Kevin Flynn, programme designer and hero of the piece. He entered his own game to try and stop a villainous computer from controlling it all.
Fast forward nearly 30 years, and we have ourselves a lot more clarity when it comes to the visuals. Gone are the hazy lines, and now with the effects available to film makers today, it gives the Tron mold what it really deserves, and shows us exactly what the intentions were in '82. Bridges once again plays Flynn, but this time he has been missing for 20 years, and it's up to his son Sam to enter the digital world his dad created, to try and find him and, of course, save the world.
The plot is a bit more linked in with the real world this time, with a serious threat sort of justifying the events that take place. The characters are decent enough, and Jeff Bridges is excellent as Kevin Flynn as well as Clu, a character he created based on himself when he first entered the digital world. Now, however, the digiworld has developed to something way beyond imagination, and Clu has turned into a megalomaniacal program hell bent on taking over our world and destroying any imprefections.
Garret Hedlund, who I last saw wielding a sword and wearing a cape in the disappointing screen adaptation of Paolini's Eragon, plays Sam Flynn, and although Bridges is in this sequel, Sam is the main character, and Hedlund does an okay job of leading. He's not the strongest actor, but much in the same vein as Paul Walker or Chris Evans, he plays the daredevil youth role pretty well. The support from elsewhere is decent as well, with Olivia Wilde on form and Michael Sheen giving his usual scene stealing performance as a crazed digital character.
But the effects and the action are what the film's really about - the plot is decent but comes second. The graphics stay true to the original Tron's concept, just hones it and brings it into the modern day. Impressive, as is the way the suits are designed, the discs they fight with are shown and also how the fight choreography is worked out. There are some intense action scenes, and I love the way director Joseph Kosinski gives us any kind of digital explosion, with thousands of bits (or bytes!) flying everywhere, the occasional slow motion showing us the depths to which they've gone in this. They've even brought into digital dance kings Daft Punk to supply the majority of the music.
Was it worth making a sequel, and did they iron out the creases and make it clearer than the first? Yes, they certainly did. It's not perfect, and those who haven't seen the first film may not make sense of some of the dialogue and scenes. However, those who enjoyed the first will likely be impressed by the improvements on the visual front. I certainly was, even if as a film it's just a run of the mill plot with some kooky action scenes to keep interest levels going.
I'm glad I've seen this, and I'd certainly watch it again if I saw it on TV, for example. It was hyped up quite a bit on release as the original had cult status. I'm glad they showed the first film respect by not changing a whole lot of things. They managed to do it while also stepping up the gears and bringing the concept into the 21st Century. Recommended.
Summary: Decent sequel to a 1980s cult classic