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Tron: Legacy (2010)

Almost three whole decades after its predecessor, Disney brings us back to the grid with Tron: Legacy. Funny as it may seem, the special effects used to create the virtual world in the original film was seen as some pretty state-of-the-art stuff back in 1982. It almost seems kind of unfair to compare to it to this sequel. Technology has taken a giant step or two in the last thirty years or so. The grid, as Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) calls it, is now brought to us in crisp 3-D.

Since creating the uber-popular video game, Tron, Flynn has taken over the company known as ENCOM. He has turned it into a very likeable and successful software giant until he mysteriously disappears. His son, Sam (Garret Hedlund), has no plans on filling his father’s shoes despite owning controlling shares in the international empire. After Flynn’s disappearance, the higher-ups in the company begin to take it in a direction that he had never intended. Despite not wanting a part in fixing the company, Sam occasionally drops in to make the developers who work there jobs a little tough.

After one of his successful missions of tormenting the ENCOM employees, Sam receives a visit from one of his father’s oldest friends. He informs Sam that a page came through from his dad’s old office. An office that has been deserted and shut down for some time now. Upon investigating this occurrence a little closer, somehow Sam finds himself sucked into the very grid that his father had told him stories about as a child. After trying to make sense of what has just happened to him, he comes across new & old programs he had only known through his father’s words. While fighting for his life and attempting to become accustomed to functioning in this world, Sam sets out to find his father and bring him back home.

It’s pretty safe to say that the original Tron and its special effects have got nothing on its’ sequel. The visual effects, action, camera work and character development was all up to par in my opinion. Having seen it in Disney 3-D, (which I personally can’t tell the difference between the many styles of 3-D) it would seem that this style of film was made for three-dimensional presentation. The light effects, action sequences and even the costumes all popped off the screen in dazzling fashion including the very real looking CGI used to reconstruct a younger looking Jeff Bridges were all great. It would seem that the team of filmmakers led by director Joseph Kosinski made sure to go all out to make this one perfect for Tron fans waiting for years for a sequel to drop.

Garrett Hedlund does well as the computer program savvy youngster who sometimes makes rash decisions with a “leap before you look” mentality. His on-screen partner, Quorra (Olivia Wilde) does a pretty decent job in a film where she probably got more screen time than in her past projects. Her “eye candy” meter is about a 9.5 in the skin tight light costumes that the characters don in this film. But her character does much more than simply stand around waiting to be stared at.

The very popular light cycle scene in the first Tron is upped to an anty of around 100 in this one. The mixture of slow motion and real-time frame work not only during this sequence but throughout the film compliments the special effects to a “T”. It is by far one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Kosinski took the use of the light cycles to another level by also incorporating more virtual vehicles for his characters to play with including an off road buggy-type car and jet fighters.

The screenplay written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz is pretty easy to follow and won’t take any excess brain power that might cause the audience to be distracted from the visual gem that is this movie. The film, itself, is powered by pure special effects and techno-geek chatter. Another aspect that fuels this story is the musical score which was composed by the popular techno-duo of Daft Funk who also make an appearance. The soundtrack really flows with the film, rising and lowering with the correct amount of bass, treble & vibes for certain scenes.

Despite the second half of the film seeming slightly rushed, I have no gripes with this movie. It was very well done and should make the original Tron fans very proud. I give Tron: Legacy “4 light cycle races out of 5”

“Life has a way of moving you past wants and hopes.”


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