Tron Legacy Movie Review
admovieso | April 7, 2012 | No comments
New Movie “Tron: Legacy” is a sharp 3D effort that is much better than the last “Tron” movie picture. This upcoming movie is being released nearly thirty years after the first movie. The 1982 Disney release was terrible, which may explain why this sequel was so long in the making. It did herald the beginning of the age of CGI.
If you go and see the first movie today you’ll be astounded by how horrific the script is. A Blu-Ray edition of it will become available next year and Disney is probably hoping that all the 40 year olds that saw it thirty years ago are feeling nostalgic to see it again. DVDs of this movie are becoming pretty hard to come by right now, at least in LA.
Movie news has it that there are even some neat parts to the new “Tron.” Most of the neat parts have to do with motor racing or interior design but you also get to see a lot of Jeff Bridges which is a good thing. The new movie release is, however, at least a half an hour too long. It’s looking like “Tron” will do pretty well at the box office, particularly where it’s available in 3D.
“Tron: Legacy,” in that it embraces technology with a vengeance, as well as combat games, corporate control, the loyalty between a father and a son and plain old silliness, bears a strong resemblance to Speed Racer by the Wachowskis. The story line of the new film is better. It’s all about a rescue mission in which a son must go into a grid that’s been designed by his father and then taken over by the father’s doppelganger, to rescue his father.
Garrett Hedlund plays Sam Flynn, a young man in his 20s, who’s still plenty mad that his genius father Kevin disappeared twenty years before. Sam soon finds out that the grid is a scary place. In his anger Sam plays tricks on his father’s technology business, flies around the streets of the city on his motorcycle and lives a very sexy life downtown. Eventually he ends up at a video arcade owned by his father that’s closed down. There he finds the key to the grid.
Much like the moment in The Wizard of Oz, when black and white Kansas suddenly becomes the rainbow colors of Oz, Tron jumps into 3D from 2D just as Sam gets into the grid. As soon as the 3D starts, Sam must fight off “lions” and is forced to jump on his bike and race through a huge city-size arena on his bike. Garrett Hedlund seems to channel some of Steve McQueen’s looks and vibe.
This scene is the most exciting scene in the film and serves to point out the enormous change in special effects since the production of the first movie. In the first movie the race felt as if it were run on an “etch-a-sketch” board with no environment around it.
The design elements of Tron are compelling. Illuminated glass enclosures hang against the night sky and uniforms and motorcycles beam with lights and sparkling color. Grid based programs are in red and orange and outside programs are in white and blue. All of the participants in the story are anonymous, except for one, and the streaky lights, the 3D twists of the rocket-like motorcycles and the way the programs smash to pieces upon impact, as well as Daft Punks techno score, result in a novel action movie.
Director Joseph Kosinski, whose background is commercials, and script writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, do eventually need to get Sam reunited with his father and then get them both out of the grid. Apparently Kevin went in and out of the grid for quite a while before Clu, his doppelganger, got the better of him. Kevin has been incarcerated ever since with a warrior queen named Quora, played by Olivia Wilde, in a living space of pristine white that’s reminiscent of Keir Dullea’s last home in “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
Clu is tired of ruling the grid and wants to go over into the real world. A huge battle begins between Clu and the Flynn family. The second half of the film gets a little dull, despite a strange scene in which Michael Sheen plays a nightclub singer in a white tux and some nifty aircraft special effects.
Bridges looks younger than he actually is, although he’s bearded and on the scruffy side, especially in a scene in 1989 and when playing Clu, who’s meant to be in his 40s. It would be pretty funny if “Tron” became known more as a film that talks middle-aged actors into looking for roles as romantic leads than as a science fiction achievement.