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A legacy worth fighting for
Tron Legacy (DVD)
Member Name: bilbob20
Tron Legacy (DVD)
Advantages: Superbly created, and directed, with a great story weaved in
Disadvantages: When the credits rolled
If, like me, you grew up on the original Tron movie, it wont surprise you to know that I went all "little boy in the toy shop" when this belated sequel was announced. The original Tron was a graphic masterpiece of its time. True, it hasn't aged well. Computer graphics have come on leaps and bounds, and Tron was released to a less computer savvy public back then. We were only just discovering Atari and Commodore and a little diamond spinning across a black screen was almost considered cutting edge effects. That said, Tron was also a great story and supported by a terrific early turn by Jeff Bridges.
The story begins in that era with Kevin Flynn apparently abandoning his young son to his grandparents. Setting that up as the premise of Sam's maverick-like behaviour two decades later, the young man is on a quest to unleash his father's work to the public for free. Encom, his father's company, plans to market the material for millions, and their plot is quickly destroyed by Sam as they are unable to prevent him from breaking in to see his own plan out. Alan Bradley, who was Kevin's other half during the creation of Tron, delivers a message to Sam from his father. Apparently it was sent from the now defunct and derelict arcade that Kevin founded in the mid 80's.
As Sam goes to investigate, he discovers the old arcade version of Tron, which quickly finds him transported to The Grid, a world of gaming where the programs set out to destroy each other and the user's are not welcome. There, he meets Clu, who is a dead ringer for his missing father. In the belief that he has finally been reintroduced to his father, Sam finds himself in danger that wont stop at The Grid and may well filter over into the real world. Sam's only hope is to follow Quorra, a program with an almost humanistic element to her, to find his father so that they can be re-united and perhaps find a way back to the real world.
Tron Legacy is a definite treat to anybody who grew up with the original. Spread into Imax theatres last year, it doesn't only have to be enjoyed in its intended 3D origins. There is enough superb effects to make this a fast paced enjoyable romp with or without the effects flying in your face. Backed by a superbly effective electro/dance soundtrack provided by Daft Punk, there isn't a moment of boredom to be had. Even the early real world scene's are breathtaking, but its the mid film Grid scene's that really elevate the film to brilliance.
To its credit though, Legacy doesn't rely solely on its superior special effects to carry the film. There is a real heart there in the midst of the story. Starting out as a quest by a young man to honour his father's wishes, we then see him carried over into his father's world to finally get some closure on the years of his life that he felt abandoned. His need to finally find his father almost leads him to mortal danger, and you feel that presence throughout the film. Anybody wanting to see an update to the Tron film will be thrilled, but anybody wanting a film that shows human adversity will also enjoy this.
Furthermore, Jeff Bridges return to the film is welcome as well. Although, his younger self (created by special effects for the character of Clu) doesn't quite cut the grade, you can accept that it looks computer generated because Clu is supposed to look computer generated. As his older self, Bridges is understated and all the more powerful because of it. Garrett Hedlund was also a good choice as Sam, Bridges onscreen son. He is athletic looking enough to pull off the great many stunts required of him, but with enough depth to potray a hurting young man in search for answers.
As Quorra, Olivia Wilde pushes all the right buttons. Having clearly gone beyond that of her creator's intentions, and become a figure of confidence to him, she has stepped out of the restrictions of being a character. Even with the three of those actors ably carrying the film, recognition must be given to Michael Sheen who stars as a flambuoyant program who has taken on an element of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust persona and who gets all the best lines and even a few memorable moves. I think I enjoyed him more than the rest of the hugely enjoyable characters.
Joseph Kosinski creates this entire world, which is head and shoulders above the original. Much of this is due to the lack of materials available back in 1982, when the original made its way to the big screen. Even with that in mind, The Grid is a flawless creation that will have you gasping with excitement all the way through. Kosinski doesn't leave his character's behind though. The real life character's of Sam and Kevin already have a backstory to bring with them, and that is explored just enough to give them a depth beyond the shallow world of 2 dimensional fighting games.
Tron Legacy was released today in various formats. Aside from the standard disc release, there is also the double pack which consists of the standard film and the blu-ray disc. You can also buy a double pack of the original film and this one together, which might be a better option for those of you unfamiliar with the original or who just haven't gotten around to buying it before now. They are definitely worth watching as a double bill, even though Tron Legacy is just as effective as a stand-alone Disney classic. Roll on film number three, which has just been announced. I hope that the team can deliver another film that is as good as this, and that also improves on an already legendary film from many of our own childhoods.
Summary: A superb update to the 1982 film that will cater for those raised on it, and newcomers alike