In 1982, Tron was a groundbreaking effects fest movie, nothing like it had ever be seen and for a generation it’s minimalist designs, warriors with glowing staffs and the famous light cycles became icons. What made Tron more than the sum of it’s pixels was that at the storyline was about human beings, specifically Flynn, played by Jeff Bridges.
Tron legacy has a lot to live up to and many fans have been worried that the human element which made the original so engaging will be lost, swamped beneath a wave of digital brilliance. Technology has come a long way since the original film and the temptation must have been there. Fortunately, though the new 3D follow up looks incredibly sumptuous, it’s still all about he people.
Sean Flynn, Bridges’ character’s son played by Garrett Hedlund is informed of a signal coming from an antiquated pager once owned by his long lost father. Intrigued, he checks out Flynn’s old arcade, full of incredibly nostalgic computer games for anyone who was a kid in the early 80s. Inevitably, Sam finds a secret room behind the Tron arcade game and is sucked into the same strange digital world that his father vanished into many years before.
The fans need not have worried about the effects sequences. Everything is incredibly faithful in design to the original movie but given a wild new freedom of movement with the amazing advances in CGI in the intervening years. The light cycles are back in a spectacular sequence set on the grid and the Tron world is more immersive than it ever could have been in 1982. There are some incredibly impressive “space Invaders” style flying ships and a tremendous car chase, but the best moment is when Sam is reunited with his father. Bridges originally played Flynn as a self important computer genius, now, his time in the world he created has left him aged and worn out, living a solitary existence on top of a mountain overlooking his world.
While Bridges and Hedlund receiving strong support from the guest cast and some terrific direction from Joseph Kosinski who is so clearly a fan of the groundbreaking original, so carefully has he adhered to the visuals created in 1982, Tron Legacy is going to be an unmissable spectacular. If you have never seen the first film you’ll be pleased to know that this sequel (is this the longest gap between an original film and a sequel?) stands alone and is a supreme visual rollercoaster of a movie with lots of touching moments.
Release Date in the UK: 26 December 2010
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Cast: Olivia Wilde, Beau Garrett, Serinda Swan, Jeff Bridges, Michael Sheen, Garrett Hedlund, James Frain, Bruce Boxleitner, Yaya DaCosta, Amy Esterle, Elizabeth Mathis, Brandon Jay McLaren, Owen Best