Thrown into his work

TRON: Legacy

on December 04, 2010 by Pete Hammond
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tronlegacyreview.pngWe waited 28 years for it, and finally the sequel to Disney's 1982 now cultish, sci-fi head-scratcher, Tron is upon us. Fans of the original won't be disappointed. Advances in CGI technology help this concept reach new heights and the visible improvements are staggering, to say the least. Now pitched as a father/son story in which 27 year old Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) investigates the strange disappearance of his dad Kevin (Jeff Bridges), a one time tech visionary now endangered inside the digital grid of his own making, the new Tron: Legacy is a spectacular jaw-dropper that easily surpasses the original (which lacked in the story department) and takes us places we have never been. On the heels of another revelatory turn in True Grit, Bridges is sensational again, here in a groundbreaking performance. This reboot is blockbuster entertainment that should easily surpass the original's unimpressive box office and create a whole new yearning for everything Tron.

Sam Flynn is a rebel who challenges the ways of Dad's old business. Though he shows no interest in the company, still, he causes trouble at every turn. Soon his carefree ways are put to the test when a visit to an unknown laboratory thrusts him into a grid, a world where programs have human dimensions. Here the videogame experience happens on a new and exalted plane, whirling in and out of one vibrantly lit chase after another. It's the ultimate gamer dream. But Tron Legacy doesn't let Sam wander through this CGI enhanced universe without some sort of emotional payoff, which comes in the form of his reunion with Kevin, his long-lost, tech-imprisoned father. But in order to rescue dad he must navigate the grid the old man designed, which is now controlled by Clu, Kevin's much younger, programmed self. With the help of the self-sufficient warrior Quorra (Olivia Wilde), who has been lording over Kevin from her own sterile environment, Sam challenges the tyrannical Clu who plans his own escape to the real world, to which he craves entry and dominance.

Tyro director Joseph Kosinski steps into the shoes of original writer/director Steven Lisberger (returning here as a producer) and makes this Tron edition far more satisfying than we had a right to expect. Legacy's great story and acting are matched by great effects, which dazzle thanks to the state of the art wizardry of Digital Domain, who make Bridges play opposite his convincingly younger self. Tricks aside, Bridges gets under Kevin's skin and offers a touching look at a man consumed (literally) by his own work, now striving to help the son he abandoned. Bridges plays both roles convincingly and Hedlund works well opposite him. Michael Sheen chews the scenery in a lively supporting role but the real stars here work behind the scenes to make this all-digitized universe snap, crackle and pop with excitement. In an inspired twist, the film is bookended in 2D, making the ultra-real 3D visuals that serve as the centerpiece all that more exceptional and effective.

Distributor: Walt Disney Studios
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Sheen, Olivia Wilde, James Frain, Beau Garrett and Bruce Boxleitner
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Screenwriters: Edward Kitsis & Adam Horwitz.
Producers: Sean Bailey, Jeffrey Silver and Steven Lisberger
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: PG for scenes of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language
Running Time: 125 min
Release Date: December 17, 2010

 

Tags: Steven Lisberger, Jeffrey Silver, Sean Bailey, Adam Horwitz, Edward Kitsis, Joseph Kosinski, Bruce Boxleitner, Beau Garrett, James Frain, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges
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10 Comments

  • kobi_galon on 05 December 2010

    I really have no interest to watch this film. Disney has brought it back after so many years (when I hadn't even been born), and that means that many people don't know the plot yet. And I confess that all that has been presented about this film has not made me feel even a bit interested to watch it. And since I'm not the kind of person who goes to the cinema only for special effects...

  • user31 on 07 December 2010

    @kobi_galon, What difference does it make when you were born and if it was pre TRON or post TRON? Normal people go to see a movie because it looks good and to be entertained. If you want to know the plot rent the first one...duh. Anyways you sound like a hater "nay-sayer" and you guys come in all shapes and sizes never fails. I bet you loved AVATAR. The real travesty is you think this movie was made for you, it wasnt. It was made for those of us that remember TRON when it first came out and revolutionary it was so who cares if you dont want to see it but much the same as TRANSFORMERS targeted its core audience from the 80's bringing in new fans so will TRON.

  • kobi_galon on 07 December 2010

    First: I didn't even watch Avatar, for the same reason I will not watch Tron - effects and nothing else. I mean, no interesting and attractive plot. I think you did not understand what I said. I'm not the one who goes watching films full of special effects but with no good story - just like Tron and Avatar. I like special effects, of course, but allied to a great story, one that makes you think. Not the case of Tron, I'm so sorry...

    But that's ok then if the movie was made for you who go to see movies because they look good and entertaining only. I just gave my opinion and explained the reasons why I myself won't watch it. I think this "What do you think?" is here for people to say what they think, right? Nevertheless, I'm not telling anyone not to go watch it. I know Tron will succeed, since it's such the kind of film that most people love.

  • user31 on 07 December 2010

    Yeah thats the part i dont quite understand about you. Its as if you think movies that have great special effects and outstanding CGI cant have a story, and you couldnt be more wrong. I guess all of the STAR WARS movies wont worth watching because they had good effects, MATRIX, TERMINATOR, TERMINATOR 2, and on and on i can go. I suppose none of these had a story. The other thing thats peculiar is that you give an opinion about a movie that you havn't bothered to even research. Why dont you try renting the first TRON before casting the conclusion that it has no story? I dont quite understand people who give an opinion of a movie that has yet to even be released. You do know thats what real , subjective viewers do. They actually watch the film before tearing it apart. Maybe you just dont have an appreciation for movies like the rest of us, real movie goers. Ohhh.. and i suppose Pete Hammonds 4 star review and 4 star money maker potential means nothing as well. Watch a movie first dude then apeak.

  • hanover on 07 December 2010

    @Kobi

    You basically told everyone you are boring and never do anything just for fun...and for some reason you think that puts you above everyone else. Because people are drawn to a film because of the visuals...and you are not like those mere mortals.

    I guess people shouldn't go to art museums unless they know every detail about the artists prior to visiting.

    The original Tron did have a story. It was an allegory for religion. The programs were being imprisoned by an artificial intelligence and forced to give up their belief in the Users who wrote them. Then a real user gets brought in who helps the programs take down their oppressor. It was very biblical. But you would never know that since your elitist ignorance would have kept you from ever watching it to begin with.

  • user31 on 07 December 2010

    Hanover your my hero, well said

  • jachaidez on 14 December 2010

    First time I saw the preview for this movie I was amazed! The effects, the storyline, I still haven't seen the first one considering I was born in 88. But before I see Tron Legacy I will see the first one.

    I don't get how people don't like movies with special effects and good story telling. I mean you got to give props for Disney way of telling a story. And now that CGI has improved drastically it just gets even better!

    if you don't really care about the effects just the story, then go watch some drama movie or Broadway show. I go to the movies to get entertained and blown away by the graphics, it helps me escape from all the dramatic events going on in the world. But hey if you're a person who likes to see people crying 90% of the film and people yelling the other 10% be my guess go watch your movies, I personally would rather laugh my butt off than get all depressed and sad with those kinds of movies.

    Can't wait to see it!

  • user31 on 16 December 2010

    Is it me or does it seem like Boxoffice.com predictions for TRON are a bit low? I know it was 20 plus years ago and many haven't heard of TRON but i see it doing more than 44mil. I say 50 mil minimum but in my heart of hearts i believe it open as big as 75mil. With all the buzz and anticipation leading up to this moment i cant see it opening that low.

  • Ricko on 16 December 2010

    It's too bad that there will always be people who refuse to let a little knowledge sway their opinions on something they have never seen and prefer to be left in the dark. This may be the first time I ever pre-ordered tickets on an opening day of a movie. I think it will be amazing in IMAX 3D

  • Ricko on 16 December 2010

    Hanover:

    Well stated about the religion allegory. Now, if a "user" (god-being) would just show up in person to right the wrongs of the world, throw a few lightning bolts around and ask "Who else wants some of this?" I could get behind that. It seems like all the real power is always in the hands of the Master Control Program types who have all the best weapons and feel the need to dominate their world (appropriate programs).

What do you think?