Kevin C. Wong

Movie - Tron: Legacy (2010) [+]

Tron: Legacy is a sequel to the 1982 movie. In 1989 Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) disappears leaving his son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) as future heir apparent. But two decades later Sam is a rebel who refuses to take charge of ENCOM. One night he gets a page from dad's old hangout, Flynn's. When he gets there he finds a secret lab and accidentally activates a scanning laser that sends him into the Grid.

Once in the Grid Sam has to fight in the Games and meets Clu (Bridges), a program created by his dad to help remold the Grid. Somewhere along the line Clu became a dictator obsessed with perfection and bringing that perfection to Earth. Sam escapes with the help of Quorra (Olivia Wilde) and is reunited with his dad, who has been living a monastic life out in the boonies after realizing that resistance against Clu only makes Clu stronger.

But Sam is not the giving up type. He plans to sneak back to the city and somehow make his way to the Portal and the way back to Earth. And when that is in danger of failing dad and Quorra are there to help him... Bruce Boxleitner has a minor role reprising an elder Alan Bradley and a bit of Tron before that character is killed by Clu.

I watched Legacy years ago and I guess wasn't greatly impressed. A couple months ago I watched Tron and now I watched Legacy and paid more attention. Legacy makes a lot of references to the original film and kind of logically follows it and I missed that before.

Hedlund as Sam is not exactly the hero-looking type, then again neither was Bridge in the original movie. There is a lot of face rejuvenation CGI for Bridges and Boxleitner and it's not seamless but I guess ok since it's supposed to be a digital world and Clu's face being not quite human is fine. More of a problem the brief time younger Kevin Flynn was shown but mercifully that was only a few seconds.

Wilde is actually really good doing Quorra. Quorra does not talk a lot but observes a lot. Many scenes have Sam talking, Kevin talking, Sam and Kevin talking and it cuts to Quorra reacting or she's in the background reacting and there's a lot of personality portrayed. And it's nice there's no romance to it, it's like a kid seeing her heroes and wanting to take it all in.

The Grid world and people are reminiscent of the original film but updated while still having a bit of an anachronism since movies nowadays portray cyberspace as either just like the real world but a bit different or totally digital and not like the real world at all. The Grid is still "this is what the 80's thought cyberspace might be like if programs were like real people". It's kind of like a noir film; the Grid has a style of its own.

There is the requisite dueling discs battle and a few other disc combats. Light cycle 5 v 5 battle on a two-level area is fairly cool. A later scene has our heroes on a light 3-person flyer chased by five fighter flyers and they're all streaming solid light walls which makes that aerial combat quite unique. It's cool seeing a Recognizer up close and used as a prisoner transport. You also see a few tanks but not inside them. A lot of Tron tech that gladdens my younger self.

Anyways, I did like this film watching it a second time and I think it does better after recently watching the original rather than watching it years and years after the original.