Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Watcher - Tron: Legacy

Tron: Legacy opens with an introduction to a loving father telling a story to his son about his time in "the Grid". I enjoyed the ‘real’ world aspects of the movie like Sam’s family life with his grandparents and a constantly working father. Kevin Flynn then disappears, never to return, leaving poor Sam alone. Sam grows up but is still running away from the reality of his father leaving him.

Sam has fun with Encom, trying to keep his father’s beliefs alive while the company is being run in his absence. There are a couple of nods to the original film, including revisiting some classic lines and the son of Ed Dillinger - a cameo appearance by Cillian Murphy, apparently setting up a third film.

Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) returns to visit Sam and inform him of a page which originated from Flynn's Arcade. This leads Sam curiously back to the place where his father used to reside.

Once Sam is digitized into his father’s world, we hit the 3D action. This is where things come alive as we see brilliantly vibrant colours against a dark world. Starting with the disc battles and then moving onto the lightcycles, both of which are amazing to watch and have been updated from the original. I would also like to mention Daft Punk's soundtrack as it greatly enhances the beats of the action sequences.

The story then tries to take shape; Flynn’s digital world is changing, he is in seclusion and we meet Quorra who is the last of a unique set of programs. Clu - who was Flynn’s prime creation - is now in control and has a clichéd master plan to rule the world! I never quite get sucked into the story, but somehow I feel like that’s not what Disney were aiming for.

That said I do like the opaque style during the story flashbacks and Jeff Bridges' performance is excellent in his dual roles (just don’t mention the annoyingly odd CG on Clu). Micheal Sheen is entertaining as the flamboyant and extravagant Caster; Garett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde also do a reasonable job in their respective roles. I particularly like the fact that Quorra is rather naive and wide eyed but at the same time sexy and can kick butt!

There were a few things in the movie which irritated me slightly; plot points which were ether blatantly obvious or completely mystifying. For instance a custom lightcycle made by Flynn, fastest on the grid? Yeah, Sam’s going to be using that! Also why didn’t Flynn use his powers earlier and what is with Tron’s story? Oh and "biodigital jazz".

A feeling of nostalgia washes over me, I did enjoy the movie but overall I think it lacks the soul of the original and did not live up to my own hype. Ultimately watch the movie for its stunning visual style and some truly brilliant action sequences but don't go for a clear and deep story.

Stefan Harkins is working on composing some biodigital rap metal. Scared? You will be.

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