TRON: Legacy (PG)

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Review byTenani French14/12/2010

Three out of five stars
Running time: 127 mins

Genuinely striking with a unique trademark visual style and groundbreaking special effects, this sci-fi adventure is let down by a forgettable script and shallow performances.

What's it all about?
TRON: Legacy follows on from the 1982 classic TRON and introduces Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), the adult son of the first film's main character Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges).

After his father mysteriously disappears Sam is left alone and abandoned. Refusing to take control of his father's company Sam chooses a solitary life but still maintains an interest in technology and the company, albeit from afar. When an associate of his father Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) sends Sam to investigate a mysterious page sent from his father's abandoned video arcade he stumbles across the game TRON and is suddenly transported to the digital world of The Grid.

After being forced into battle by CLU 2, an updated version of his father's original hacking programme Sam meets Quorra (Olivia Wilde) and is reunited with his father. Together they set out on the journey to the portal back to the real world and must evade a slew of weapons and programmes more advanced than ever before, and CLU 2, who will stop at nothing to escape The Grid himself.

The Good
From the opening shot of the TRON-ified Disney castle to the neon-tastic climax on The Grid TRON: Legacy is a visual feast. Certainly a film set in a digital world was always going to look good, but TRON celebrates it's unique style without looking naff. Sweeping vistas of a desolate digital dystopia are beautifully animated in such detail you'd be forgiven for thinking you're looking at a photograph. The 3D effect in this movie is used cleverly as the differentiating factor between the real human world and the digital world. You must see this film in 3D and on the biggest screen you can find to truly appreciate it's visual style.

At the heart of this film is the relationship between a man and his creations, in this case Kevin Flynn and his son Sam, and his rogue avatar CLU. It is the consistent references to this relationships that keeps this film from becoming a parade of over the top special effects like Transformers. Jeff Bridges plays both the spiritual leader of the film, and the main antagonist, and his skill in both roles overshadows the rest of the cast and helps us to accept to some of the plots shortcomings. Olivia Wilde is a triumph and steals the show as the sexy programme Quorra and is as striking as the film itself.

Special mention has to be made of the soundtrack, created by French duo Daft Punk (who also have a cameo in the film). The score is riveting and plays to all the highs and lows of the film, keeping some of the slower scenes in step with the pace of the rest.

The Bad
Despite incredible visuals and potentially interesting character dynamics, the film falls flat thanks to an overbearing script and some blaring plot holes. Characters exist which prove no real purpose to the story, and as an audience we are asked to believe things are special in the digital world without ever actually being shown why. The main character of Sam, played by Garrett Hedlund, is just likable for most of the film, with traces of personality starting to show through only when paired with Bridges or Wilde. There is also a seemingly uninspired inclusion of the title character in a fleeting cameo , and Jeff Bridges' digitally de-aged face is just downright creepy. It's all enough to make you take off your 3D glasses and scratch your head for a moment.

Worth seeing?
TRON: Legacy is a treat to watch, especially in the latest, most modern theatres, and a unique visual style, interesting character dynamics and thundering soundtrack make up for the films minor script and plot flaws.

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Content updated: 23/10/2019 01:55

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