Certificate PG, 125 minutes
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde
TRON: Legacy is the sequel, nearly thirty years later, to the 1982 film TRON. The film initially starts in 1989 after the events of TRON. Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges, R.I.P.D.) has a son, Sam, and is in control of Encom after Dillinger was forced out. Sam Flynn grew up on his father, Kevin's, stories of the Grid where programs are people, of how his father and Tron and a program his father created in his own image, Clu (the first film also featured a program created by Kevin Flynn called CLU). In 1989 Kevin Flynn disappears, to be never seen again. Forward to the present and the adult Sam (Garrett Hedlund, Pan), despite being the largest shareholder of Encom and not liking how the company is being run, has no interest in actually running the company himself, and simply turns up once a year to play a prank.
Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tron_Legacy_poster.jpgHis father's friend Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), the creator of the program Tron, still believed that Kevin was still out there, somewhere, when he gets a page from the elder Flynn's office in his old arcade. He tells Sam, who goes there and discovers, underneath the arcade, a secret office with computer hardware still running something. When he experiments with it, Sam is transported to the Grid, and discovers that his father's old stories were actually true. Sam is sent to compete in the Games and is helped to escape them by the mysterious Quorra (Olivia Wilde, In Time, Rush, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone), who knows his father.
The soundtrack to the film is in an electronic, 80s, style, presumably as a tribute to the sound of the first film. Clu, who is identical in appearance to Kevin Flynn, is also partly played by a Jeff Bridges who looks much younger than he actually is, as does the Kevin Flynn who appears at the beginning of the film, and partly by another actor. This is done quite effectively - he looks believably younger. The new film has many familiar games, vehicles and costumes from the original, although they are all jazzed up, such as with the lightcyle race that Sam competes in early in the film, just like his father did in TRON. On the whole it is visually spectacular and, befitting the Grid being an equivalent of cyberspace, looks very computer generated, something that works. Much of the Grid is set on a dark background illuminated by glowing lights on everything, including the people. The colour coding does make it easy to tell which side people are on.
The film is available in both 2D and 3D versions, with the 2D being the one seen. Given the setting of the film, it will probably work quite well in 3D, something that isn't always the case. There are a number of slow motion scenes rather reminiscent of The Matrix. The overall plot of TRON: Legacy is quite similar to the original, with the new Grid being ruled by a dictatorship as was the old. Only the characters have changed. You really need to see TRON first if you haven't in order to understand the background to the current events. Interestingly, the poster for the video game TRON seen briefly in the film looks to be pretty much identical to the promotional poster for the original film. TRON: Legacy looks great, and is a decent sequel to the original film, but the actual story and characters could have been better, but James Frain's Jarvis is a nicely portrayed toady.