Review: Tron Legacy

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Genre: Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi
Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
Staring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Bruce Boxleitner, and Olivia Wilde
Released: December 17th, 2010


Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the digital world of Tron where his father has been living for 25 years. Along with Kevin’s loyal confidant Quorra (Olivia Wilde), father and son embark on a life-and-death journey of escape across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous.


The film is beautiful. And I am not just talking about its more attractive stars, I mean every inch of the world of Tron is painstakingly inspiring. Digital dayglow and real landscapes mesh into a perfect fabricated world in which Sam’s father has been trapped for decades. And absolutely worth the 3D, as this film almost seems to want to be in 3D. In fact, all the scenes in the “real world” are effectively in 2D, and the Grid world are all in 3D. This makes the leap of settings that much more effective.

The soundtrack is awesome and so appropriate with Daft Punk offering their digital sound to the film. Every bit of this score is beautiful, and I downloaded it from iTunes on the way home from the theater. Just incredible stuff there.

Considering the film is a 28 years later sequel, I was surprised the effort that went into the nods to the original series. Even with Bruce Boxleitner only being in such a small part of the movie he was a great nod to the original. And a LOT of nostalgia for the original film is a big part of what makes this film enjoyable which this delivers in spades without isolating the new audience that would not be familiar with the first movie.


The plot itself is weak. Clu (young Bridges) runs the grid, and has nothing to gain by eliminating the creator and his interloping son, but he acts like his very existance is threatened by it. In fact his true mission is to get something from old Flynn that will reverse the travel between worlds and allow him to leave the Grid and enter the real world. What he figured he would do once out there is oddly irrelevant and never really explained. Would he have any power or ability in the real world? Not the best villain and better listing him as “the opposition” instead.

That and every character in the movie is just there to spell out what’s going on in this strange new world. No one has a purpose except to explain something new. Very little character development at all in the supporting cast.

Young Jeff Bridges comes SO close to being perfect but when you catch those moments that remind you he is digital it ruins it. SO CLOSE!

Cillian Murphy makes an uncredited cameo appearance in this film as a character named Edward Dillinger. If I hadn’t watched my DVD copy of Tron yesterday, I might not have recalled the significance but David Warner played the badguy in the original Tron and his name was Ed Dillinger. Cool right? But no. No purpose for the charcter, no tie in, no plot involvement. He is just there as an easter egg name dropping the badguy from the first film, but they do very little with him. Why get such a known actor to play the part then if they are just name dropping. Seems a lot of effort to do nothing.


A lot of fun, and I cannot stress just how enjoyable the movie is in visuals alone. I do wish that they had gone deeper into character development instead of a succession of show-and-tell moments, but what is good about this movie is SO good that you find the complaints about the other stuff to be particularily minor.

Still I cannot give the movie a top rating just because the visuals and action deserve it, but I will say that if any film NEEDS to be seen in 3D, this might be it.

I give Tron Legacy a 7 out of 10

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