- Reviewed by: 00Dylan
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Current Rating 7.25/10 | 4 Votes
Not only does Tron: Legacy have a lot in common with its predecessor, but it ups the ante in numerous ways with cutting-edge technology, a thunderous and memorable soundtrack, and twice the Jeff Bridges - bearded or clean shaven, pick your poison. Unfortunately, it also suffers from the same problem as the first film, the problem of being an impressive display of technological prowess that someone then tried to cram a story into. Can the engaging beats and neon blues overshadow the shortcomings in the story department? Yes, I believe they can.
As the tagline for Tron: Legacy suggests, Flynn lives, and in more ways than one. 20 years after Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) mysteriously disappears, his son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) is just as much of a little hellion as his father was, hassling ENCOM and even riding his father's motorcycle. When Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) tells Sam that he received a pager message from Kevin's old arcade, Sam investigates and winds up getting sucked into The Grid. There, he finds that Clu, Kevin Flynn's digital doppleganger, betrayed his father and is now in charge.
The premise serves its purpose, reintroducing us to The Grid, light cycles, discs, programs, users, Clu, and everything else that made Tron such a groundbreaking film back in 1982. Amazingly, the world is just as impressive as ever. Just as they did almost 30 years ago, the filmmakers used the best technology available - including 3D - to make The Grid something truly special. As first glance it may resemble a fancy light show, but once you spend a few hours absorbing everything, it becomes something much grander.
3D is a subject of much debate and personally, I no longer know where I stand. Tron uses the technology not as a gimmick, but as a genuine tool to create a unique experience. Instead of throwing things in your face, which is a habit employed by lesser filmmakers, the 3D is primarily used in subtle ways, to alter depth and generally make things look "off." That's not to say things aren't lobbed at the screen from time to time, but it happens sparingly enough that it adds to the film rather than detracting from overuse.
The visuals can't be discussed without bringing up the soundtrack, as the two work in tandem to delight the senses. We're not talking about the work of a seasoned film scorer, but a duo of electronic musicians from France. Daft Punk were brought in presumably because they already live a Tron-like existence, wearing helmets and employing colorful lights in their live shows. They knock it out of the park, beautifully complimenting the dazzling visuals and doubtlessly earning their small cameo.
Sadly, the film's story isn't nearly as inventive as its presentation. The straightforward plot thread of Sam trying to save his father works well enough, but elements like the ISOs and even Tron himself are lazily slopped in. Tron's involvement irks me the most. I get that you need to include Tron in a film titled Tron: Legacy, but you couldn't be bothered to make his involvement the least bit compelling? You thought it was enough to simply drop him in there and call him Tron? And why do I care about the ISOs, when I only first learned of them after they had been wiped out for years?
The saving grace in the substance department is the acting, which lends credibility to the story, as silly as it may get at times. As expected, Bridges blows everyone away with his reprisal of Flynn. He's a betrayed friend, a dethroned leader, and a pining father, and yet he exhibits an unmistakable strength, especially when the life of his son is threatened. Because of this, it's hard not to get involved and nearly impossible not to root for Flynn.
While certain things bothered me initially, I find myself caring less and less and fondly remembering the visual and aural spectacle that is Tron: Legacy. Why are the good guys blue and the bad guys orange? Why does Tron gurgle like the Predator alien? I don't know, but honestly, I don't think I care all that much. Tron: Legacy may not be great, but it sure is pretty, and that saves it from being terrible.
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