I half loved the original Tron, it was a striking looking film and was built around an interesting concept but to be blunt it did get boring around the halfway mark. Tron Legacy however is much better. Visually and aurally it is easily the equal of the original. There is a stark minimalist beauty to the new toned-down visuals as laser-like beacons of light contrast sharply with the surrounding darkness. The music is also superb and it combines with the visuals to elevate the film to a level above the quality of it’s story.
The film follows Sam Flynn (Garret Hedlund) as he attempts to find his father and hero of the first film Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who is now lost somewhere in The Grid (the computer world). Sam is aided by the beautiful Quorra (Olivia Wilde) who is a new type of emergent AI lifeform. At the same time he must also avoid the murderous intentions of CLU (Kevin Flynn’s clone) who was originally created to do good in the electronic world.
The updated light-cycle sections are predictably superb as are the games that Sam must participate in when he first arrives on The Grid. Today’s CGI is finally able to do justice to the 1982 original’s vision. Sam although capable and the hero of the film is not all powerful and his vulnerability creates interesting situations in which he must rely on Quorra and his father’s help.
The only slight disappointment for me is that (necessarily) there is so much exposition that there isn’t much time left for the characters’ journey to the ‘I/O Portal’ (their only way back to the real world). They meet a David Bowie look-a-like (Zuse) and I hoped this would just be the first of a number of such encounters but instead they jump on a ‘Solar Sailer’, a kind of airbourne express train and pretty much end up at the portal immediately. Also the less said about the CGI version of the young Jeff Bridges the better…
Great action and drama with a striking aesthetic and superb music. It’s really a 7/10 film but it gets an extra point for the visuals and music, which really do add an extra dimension to the film . Much more enjoyable than the original 8/10