By Jessica Dwyer
It’s a gamble and a half; making a sequel to film that was a commercial failure when it was released over 25 years ago but over those years became a cult classic and the stuff of geek legend. But Disney decided to gamble, getting the two lead actors back into their original roles and using state of the art technology to recreate a world that hadn’t been seen since the days of Space Invaders and Pac Man. Not only that, but this time the world of the computer grid would be seen in 3D, pulling us users in even deeper.
So does this gamble pay off and does Tron live up to the salivating geek desire for another trip down the digital rabbit hole? As my pal Bit would say, YES.
Tron Legacy is not only eye candy of the first degree; it holds within it some very deep emotions regarding fathers and sons, morality and the spiritual, and man’s pursuit for the unattainable. Plus it’s just fracking cool.
There are some surprises in the movie that I will not ruin for you. The trailers have given away the main plot points which are that Kevin Flynn has been trapped in the grid for years and is discovered by his son Sam after he gets pulled into the land of the game grid his father created. It’s also shown that Clu, Flynn’s doppelganger of a program has gone bad (evident by the evil glow of red/orange he has.)
The acting by the newcomers to the story, Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund is enjoyable. Wilde plays the wide eyed innocent program Quorra well. Hedlund is his father’s son, being a very cocky adrenaline junkie who follows in daddy’s footsteps in more ways than one.
But Bridges rocks this movie. His younger self is creepily well done, with only a few shots looking off or strange. When Bridges plays his older self he’s very much in his element, bringing a bit of The Dude to the game. He also shows some sweetly touching moments when it comes to Sam and his tortured soul for what he blames himself for as it is his creation that has taken over the digital world.
The action sequences are beautiful as are all the digital effects. Daft Punks score accompanies all the scenes perfectly too. I can’t speak enough about how cool it is to see the light cycles again.
The little touches here and there harkening back to the first film are nice. If you’re a fan then you notice them immediately and they will make you smile. I’m with Bruce Boxleitner who got a bit choked up at some points when he first watched the entire film. It’s sort of amazing to think that the fans of Tron kept that spark alive to the point that they made this. Not just a direct to video follow up, but a fully formed, fully fledged blockbuster.
Tron Legacy speaks to a legacy that the first film really left us children of the 80’s. We were the arcade generation, the computer geeks who knew even back then how big a deal the digital world would be. As kids this movie broke a whole new landscape wide open for us. Even if the theaters didn’t keep it playing for very long, the laser discs and VHS machines did. Technology kept Tron going, not surprisingly, and so did the very geeks it inspired by showing that geeks and science nerds could be heroes.
Go see Tron Legacy and enjoy the walk back through memory lane and the detour into a crazy view of what could be our future.
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