Friday, 31 December 2010

Tron: Legacy

More than just binary....

20 years after the disappearance of his father, Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) receives a message from his father's rundown arcade. Upon investigating, Sam stumbles upon a secret room in which he is transported to the virtual domain of The Grid.

It has been many years since the original Tron was released and the sequel plays on this by having a narrative that addresses the very absence of a followup to Tron ,very much like the protagonist Sam has to deal with the mysterious disappearance of his father. In this sense, the audience is very much like Sam as Tron Legacy is clearly designed to appeal to a new generation of moviegoers. This does come with its own set of problem, namely that the story fails to utilize the computer programing jargon which made the original so interesting. Programming is touched upon at times, but it almost feels as if the writer's felt it may complicate the story unnecessarily. While this may be possible, it does not stop the fact that specified jargon would have created a far more convincing context for the plot, as well as create some needed depth to the themes which are presented. It is a pity because Tron Legacy has the potential for deeper discussion but it rarely presents the opportunity for such an endeavour.

Thankfully, the linear narrative is helped by an enthusiastic cast. Oscar potential is not on the agenda, but the actors are definitely watchable. The respective characters portrayed by Hedlund, Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde, who which the story revolves, are is likable in their ambition. Sam is a rebel who is wayward by his father's absence while Flynn yearns for nothing more but to see his son again. It is a compelling side story which brings about emotional response from both character, but unfortunately never ever convincing enough. Bridges also sports the chance to play Clu, the digital representation of Flynn. This is intriguing as ti allows Bridge's to also play a smug villain who is very different to that of Flynn. It is, however, disappointing to find Tron himself pretty much absent from the film considering how important he was in aiding against the MCP of the original film. Bruce Boxleitner gets some screen-time but it would have been nice for him to get some more.

Either way, the visual and audio of the film are an absolute treat. There are some stunning uses of CGI and special effects that create an impressive visual design, such as the modeling of a younger Bridges and the stark contrast between dark and light create an almost monochromatic feel. It should also be said that the use of 3D is amazingly effective, especially when helping differentiating the real world to that of The Grid. The musical score was composed by Daft Punk: their upbeat characteristic really aids the film's overall tempo allowing action sequences to feel more intense and any slow moments to be almost forgotten.

There are some sexualised women represented with tight bodysuits and profanity is hardly even mild. The film is action orientated but death sequences result in character deconstructing considering they are computer coding rather then physical beings.

Tron Legacy ends 2010 on a high note. While it lacks the ambitious nature of the original story and with acting that is not always entirely effective, Tron Legacy is nevertheless an absolute feast for the eyes and ears. The film's minor shortcomings are just that as Tron Legacy overclocks itself in presenting an entertaining experience.


Screen date: 31 December 2010
Release date: 31 December 2010