It’s not like anyone asked for a sequel to the 80s cult classic Tron that told the story of computer engineer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) and his journey into digital space. He was transported to a world that resides in circuit boards and computers. A world where programs take on human form and are at time subjected to merciless, gladiator-style games where they have to destroy or be destroyed. The original Tron became a cult classic once it hit home video and has been passed down through the generations, remembered for its innovativeness, originality, and what we now regard as pretty cheesy special effects (they weren’t back then).
Now we find ourselves with a sequel to that movie called Tron: Legacy. Kevin Flynn had a son, but one night Flynn disappeared and hadn’t been heard from in 20 some odd years. Sam (Garrett Hedlund) is now the largest share holder in Encom, his father’s company, although, Sam doesn’t want any part in actually running the company. Instead he sabotages it from the inside, year after year, trying to fulfill his dad’s wishes that all programs are free and open to the world.
After talking to one of his dad’s old friends, Sam finds his way to his father’s old arcade. There he discovers his dad’s secret work room and is, in no time, transported to the digital world via a laser beam where he meets endless streams of bad programs, and his long lost father.
The world that Sam enters is a lot different than the world Kevin entered in 1982. It’s been jazzed up quite a bit. With modern day CGI technology the filmmakers were able to create a vast digital existence for hordes of programs that act more like it’s ancient Rome than anything else.
There’s pulse-pounding disc battles where enemy combatants chuck flying discs at one another hoping to erase them from existence. The light cycles are back and better than ever. Truthfully, Tron: Legacy is visually astounding. If you liked the complete engrossing affect of Avatar then Tron: Legacy and its CGI digital dreamscape is for you. Watching it in IMAX was even better, as some of the movie’s scenes have been filmed in IMAX aspect ratio. They fill the entire screen, causing you to get lost in the movie’s awe-inspiring visuals (I wouldn’t suggest any 3D viewings, as the 3D viewing I attended was plagued by double-vision caused by the glasses and screen).
Besides the astounding visuals Tron: Legacy is pretty much void of any emotional connection to any of the older characters and lacks seriously in drawing us into the newer characters. It relies on its stunning cinematography to get it by, and perhaps that’s enough. Most people (I know I was more than a few times) will be so completely flabbergasted by what they’re seeing they’ll forget that the story is flimsy, and lacks that humanistic element that made the first one more enjoyable.