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Review: Tron: Legacy

When ‘Tron’ came out from Walt Disney Productions in 1982, must have been quite a sight. Mixing computer generated effects with live action in the scale of the first ‘Tron’ was a major step forward in the types of effects that are quite common place these days.

Does ‘Tron: Legacy’ live up to this standard? As far as anything mind blowing effects wise, I’d say we’ve seen what is at work here before. However, where Tron: Legacy excels is the same way Avatar did, it creates a world that feels very real, and pulls us, the audience in.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski, ‘Tron: Legacy’ is the continued story of ‘Tron,’ and focuses primarily on the son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), Sam Flynn (Garret Hedlund).

Kevin Flynn, the creator of Tron disappeared one night working late at his office, leaving Sam to grow up an orphan, but, also the largest single stock holder for ENCOM, his fathers company. Using his resources, he maintains his fathers legacy, but disrupting and causing trouble to make sure things at the company stay the way his father would have wanted him.

His fathers friend, Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxletiner) comes to Sam to tell him that he received a mysterious page from the old arcade, where his fathers office was. Sam goes to investigate, and finds himself pulled into The Grid, the world his father always spoke of creating. The Grid is in major disarray, and his father, trapped by Clu 2, essentially a clone of Kevin.

If that sounds complicated, it really isn’t. The film does a great job of making the story accessible to all ages (the PG rating helps as well). Also, do no not fret if you haven’t seen the original (or even if its been years). I think the last time I saw the original Tron I was in grammar school, but I was totally attune to what was going on.

The style and production design here is stellar. From the costumes and make up, the architecture of the world. Everything feels real, shots are composed at stark level angles, and the world just broods.

3D doesn’t always work for me, while it worked in ‘Avatar,’ it didn’t in ‘Piranha 3D,’ well the 3D here is great. Much of the real world is in 2D, and things only gain depth once you enter The Grid. I applaud that decision, much like in ‘Wizard of Oz’ when things only are in color in Oz, it separates the two worlds very well.

The music is composed by French duo Daft Punk, and fits the world to the T. I’d listened to the soundtrack prior to the film, but hearing it again in the context of the film was much better.

Garret Hedlund is entertaining and fit for the part of Sam, but the character I really fell in love with was Quora (Olivia Wilde). Wilde has been a favorite of mine for a while, and this film will only push her more into the limelight. She’s more then just a pretty face, Wilde has talent, and hopefully we’ll be seeing more of it. Also, I’ve always been a fan of Jeff Bridges, and seeing him play both a young version of himself (thanks to fancy CG work), and today, was stellar.

The pacing of the film towards the middle was a bit slow, and action sequences were spread out. But this didn’t hurt any part of the enjoyment for me. At its core, this is a fun sci-fi adventure that is great entertainment. Tron: Legacy is a film that can equally be enjoyed by young and old, and definitely a summer popcorn popping blockbuster in the midst of the winter season.

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