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Movie Review: Tron Legacy

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Movie: Tron: Legacy
Starring: Garret Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde
Director: Joseph Kosinki

Tron: Legacy, there hasn't been such an appropriate title to a sequel in a long time. This movie attempts to rewrite the story of Tron changing it from a cult classic to an epic SciFi adventure (it even has some tongue in cheek Star Wars references). Some flaws though can't be rewritten and doom the movie to the same status as the original. There will be some who will defend this movie to the end and tell others that they just "don't get it". In reality though there is nothing to get, just an empty display of light and noise. Legacy begins where the original Tron left off Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is telling his son, Sam Flynn (Garret Hedlund) about all his adventures "On The Grid" a reference to the world of Tron. One day though he simply disappears and Sam doesn't see his father for twenty years. His father's company Encom has fallen into the hands of soulless profiteers and Sam is a brooding rebel without any direction in life. If that sounds like a cliche it's because it is one. Out of the blue one of Kevin Flynn's old colleagues receives a page from his old office in the back of the arcade. Sam investigates and in short order is lured into the cyber world of Tron to rescue his father.

The movie wastes no time in introducing the world of Tron as Sam is quickly whisked off to "The Games". This is probably the strongest portion of the movie as the special effects are put into great use in creating a world that reminds you of the original Tron film but with much more detail.
The special effects plus one of the best soundtracks in a long time combine to really pull you in to this vast world of light and energy. The recreation of the light cycle battle is particularly well done with a level of complexity and excitement that puts the original to shame. It is at "The Games" also that Sam meets CLU a programmed replica of his father from twenty years past. Jeff Bridges plays CLU as well although he is digitally enhanced to look twenty years younger. The special effects here are quite convincing, really an amazing accomplishment. I would also say that Bridges seems to have more fun playing the villain. Tron: Legacy plays it's cards too soon though as we come to find out that atmospherics and special effects are all the movie has to offer.

Inevitably we reach the point in the film where Sam meets up with his real father Kevin Flynn and he explains what has been going on for the past twenty years. Suffice it to say that this is the exact point when the entire film collapses in on itself. After a rambling speech about changing everything, creating utopias and a battle over isomorphic algorithms it's clear that this movie has nothing to say about anything. It quickly crosses the line between SciFi/Fantasy into complete stupidity. Bridges as Flynn sounds more like a hippie self help guru than a computer genius. There is plenty of dialogue but nobody is really saying anything. Here we are also introduced Quorra (Olivia Wilde) who is a computer program and also a sort of surrogate daughter to Flynn. She acts as the default love interest for Sam and his guide to the virtual world. I say default because no attempt is ever really made to give the couple any romantic chemistry at all.  She is little more than a tight outfit and a wide eyed vacant stare.

The movie rambles towards it's inevitable conclusion but the question of why we should care about the fate of this cyber world is never really answered. The connection between our world and Tron is never really clear or actually explained in a way that makes any sense. With the focus on visuals and atmospheric music the connection to the characters and their fate is lost. It's more like watching a really expensive music video or someone else playing a video game.  You might be impressed but you never really care what happens. You can purchase Tron: Legacy from our online store.

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+ comments + 2 comments

April 20, 2011 at 8:29 AM

The plot was terrible along with the acting; this movie lacked vision and substance you get pushed from one bad scene to another and it does make me sad to give this film a bad rap.

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