Friday, December 17, 2010

TRON: Legacy

A visually stunning sequel whose action never lets you down. Made for fans of the original and anyone who enjoys beautiful effects-driven action flicks.

Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language.

TRON: Legacy

TRON: Legacy is being critically panned for being all brawn and no brain. Bad reviews are saying that its poor story ruins its astonishing visual style. Well, the same can be said for last December’s visual crowd-pleaser Avatar – and we all know how well that movie did.

If you think back to the 1982 TRON, you can’t really say that one had a great story – yet it is Disney’s biggest cult classic. For the die-hard TRON fans, Legacy is everything you will want it to be. For those who find the original simply okay, Legacy will surpass your expectations. And for those who know nothing of TRON and “the grid,” get ready for December 2010′s awesome crowd-pleaser.

The opening minutes of TRON: Legacy quickly show what happened in the years between TRON‘s ending and present day – which is when Legacy takes place. Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges, True Grit) has since become the owner of Encom, the computer technologies company that made it possible for him to enter “the grid” (a.k.a. the digital world). His wife, Lora, passed away, but not without birthing their child Sam.

In 1989, after working late at the office, Flynn went missing. Now, 21 years later, Sam (Garrett Hedlund, Friday Night Lights) follows a clue that takes him into “the grid” – the same place his absentee father has been stuck all this time.

Once in “the grid,” same is taken by soldier-like programs that search and destroy rogue programs, forced to play the same deadly games his father had to play upon entering “the grid” 28 years earlier – only this time the games are a lot tougher.

He begins with disc wars. Instead of taking place on simple platforms, the disc wars take place in long halls. Each plain in the wall can be used to stand on – including the ceiling. The floor panels are made of glass that shatter when hit. If you fall through, you die.

The light cycles are no longer limited to driving in block grid patterns like the lines of graph paper; they can curve, jump and ram. Like a parking structure there are multiple levels, ramps and jumps that they can use against one another. Just as it is in disc wars, playing dirty is encouraged. The less you know or see about the games prior to see the film, the more amazed you will be when you see them in their entirety.

Following the same format as the original, Sam must first survive a few tough disc wars, then he moved to the light cycles. With the help of rebelling program Quorra (Olivia Wilde, television’s House), Sam breaks out of the grid and begins to finds the answers to all of his questions.

The first half of TRON: Legacy – the set-up, the battles and the explanations to Flynn’s missing – is fantastic. The second half – where we learn of the villain’s plans – is less appealing. When critics pan the film’s story, they are referring to the second half. Agreed, the villain’s plans are not that great, but at the same time they are not that bad. Everything achieved story-wise in TRON: Legacy is leaps and bounds above the original. Being a sequel of the original TRON, what else would you wish for?

TRON: Legacy is an all-around well-wrapped eye-popping package. It basically combines the character story of Batman Begins and the plot of the original TRON with breathtaking visuals
comparable to The Matrix.
There’s even a little Matrix in
the storyline. And you must give credit to Daft Punk for their
perfectly fitting Dark Knight-esque
score. Perhaps aside from visual effects, it is no Oscar contender – but it is the crowd-pleasing end-of-the-year film that you can take the family to.

Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

4 out of 5

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