14th January, 2011
Tron: Legacy (PG/PG/PG)
In A Word: Sharp
It’s 20 years since Kevin Flynn (played by Jeff Bridges) was last seen this side of a computer screen and his son, Sam (played by Garrett Hedlund) has had to grow up as an orphan, not knowing what fate his father suffered. As a result he’s turned into a bit of a spoiled delinquent – left a controlling share of his father’s company, his riches allow him to misbehave without any real consequences.
A WHOLE NEW WORLD: Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) on his virtual wheels. ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
"Not to everyone’s taste but sci-fi fans and those nostalgic for an Eighties re-run will lap it up. For the rest, just enjoy the 'digital jazz, man'."
All that’s about to change, however. His father’s former righthand man, Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), receives a mysterious text from Sam’s father’s old office and tells Sam that he thinks he should go to investigate. He does and ends up in the Grid, the computerised world that his father created.
Last time we were in the Grid, Flynn was teaming up with the heroic program Tron to defeat the Master Control Program and the evil Sark. Yet, despite a new level of CGI-enhanced effects, all is still not well here. The Grid is now ruled over by Clu (also played by Bridges, albeit a CGI-adapted one), a program created by Kevin to make the perfect system, and he governs with an iron fist. Sam, assumed to be a malfunctioning program, soon finds himself facing death in a series of gladiatorial games but before he’s killed, it’s realised he’s a ‘user’ – someone from outside the world of the Grid.
It’s only after Sam manages to escape Clu’s clutches that he meets up with his father, now a prisoner in the outlands beyond the reach the Grid and, along with his companion Quorra (Olivia Wilde), patiently waiting for the day when he can return home. Son meets father and so begins their long journey home.
A visually dazzling production (and well worth seeing in 3D for that reason), Tron: Legacy’s plot, in a similar vein to the recent film Inception, does get a bit tangled at times and perhaps doesn’t bear looking at too closely. (That and the violence – even if it is pixilated – also means parents should exercise caution in allowing young children to see it).
The characters are a little under-developed and all act pretty much as we imagine they should - Bridges and Hedlund both put in solid, if not remarkable, performances – Bridges essentially played the “Dude” Bridges. Michael Sheen delivers some much needed color with his character Castor.
Still, its not the characters that we’ve come to seen Tron for and the visual effects more than make up for any lack there. Not to everyone’s taste but sci-fi fans and those nostalgic for the Eighties re-run will lap it up. For the rest, just enjoy the “digital jazz, man”.
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