Movie Review: Tron Legacy

It’s quite difficult for a sequel to succeed as well as the first movie does. It’s even more difficult when that sequel is nearly three decades later. Tron: Legacy had this as a major disadvantage right from the start. How does one follow up with a movie with the original cast, 28 years later?

One intelligent path to take was to actually have time pass normally. Even in this movie-verse, 28 years had past since Kevin Flynn was first transported onto the Grid. There is a quick background story, mainly showing that Flynn has made a successful company based on the video games he developed before and after his trip to the Grid. This movie actually begins in the year 1989 with Flynn talking with his young son, Sam, telling him the story about the Grid, about Tron and Clu. If you haven’t seen the original Tron movie, you may feel a bit lost in this storytelling session, as there isn’t a fully out discussion of who Tron and Clu really are and the importance they actually play to the story. After Flynn finishes telling his the story, he leaves and is not seen again. One can guess, provided you have seen the first movie, that Flynn has left for the Grid. News stories then start up talking about Flynn’s disappearance and about the future of his company, Encom.

Obviously, based on the title alone, the story is about Sam Flynn and his adventures inside the Grid. We see that without his father’s influence while growing up, Sam is a troubled kid turned a troubled adult. He doesn’t play by normal rules, and he doesn’t run his father’s company nor does he want to do so much to the chagrin of Alan Bradley, his father’s old friend. Same does make his way into the Grid, and from that point the action rarely ceases, but the predictability seems to increase.

First thing I can really say about the movie is that it is spectacularly stunning. I did not watch this movie in 3D, in fact I’m rather tired of 3D considering that 95% of the time it doesn’t positively impact the story of the movie. Plus, I wear glasses and it is rather annoying to wear glasses on top of glasses. That said, this movie didn’t have to be in 3D as the special effects were still amazing. Particularly stunning is the CGI for Clu. Clu is a program created by Flynn in the Grid and looks identical to Flynn, when he is young. Of course, Jeff Bridges has aged over the years, so he could not physically play both Flynn and Clu. Instead, he played only Flynn and then has a de-aged likeness of himself for Clu. Aside from the few mouth movements that didn’t seem realistic, Clu seemed to look like a young Jeff Bridges and not a CGI model.

The action sequences were splendid. These are programs that are playing tournament games against each other and they have the ability to maneuver in many ways. The first set of games we get to watch is quite impressive. Then they bring in the vehicles and they bring in tremendous amounts of fun.

We get to see more background story as the characters are trying to fill in Sam as well as the audience. This is a good thing as it helps bring everyone up to speed. However, it gets a little drawn out and perhaps overfills the gaps as no more than halfway through, I figured out pretty much the rest of the movie. I was left with little to no surprises.

The acting for the movie was good. Jeff Bridges seemed very relaxed in his roles. It makes me wonder if that’s just his natural personality that was shining through. Garrett Hedlund, who plays Sam, is fairly decent as the overall hero of the film. I’m not sure he’s ready to hold his own for an entire movie without other big name stars, but he has the potential to get there some day. Olivia Wilde plays Quorra, Flynn’s apprentice and companion. I found her character to be a bit annoying towards the end, rather than the tough persona she started off playing. It’s clear she is only there really for eye-candy and for a tiny bit of a romantic effect. It was a nice touch to see Bruce Boxleitner playing Alan Bradley and his likeness used in flashbacks for Tron.

Overall, the movie was enjoyable, even if it was predictable. Though, I cannot recommend enough to watch the original Tron movie before watching the sequel. It does fill in some places and makes some of the events of this movie make sense, one in particular being why it is called Tron.

Entertainment Earth