“Tron: Legacy” Review
In all honesty, I thought this was going to be utter crap. I remember liking the original 1982 movie, but I was almost sure they were going to ruin the concept in this long-delayed sequel. I felt certain that it was going to get lost, as so many films do these days, in a world of special effects, blurred action, horrid acting and dialogue intended for teenage boys. Instead, I was treated to one of best surprises in recent memory. “Tron: Legacy” is a thoughtful and entertaining action-adventure that never feels as ridiculously implausible as it actually is. Amazingly, and I cannot believe that I am saying this, I think it is one of the better movies of 2010.
To explain the labyrinthine plot would be an exercise in futility. To skim the basics, we follow Sam Flynn, a young man who travels inside a digital grid that was created by his father twenty years earlier. Sam has not seen his father since a mysterious disappearance just days after he told a him about a miraculous discovery. A little digging leads him to a portal which takes him inside that digital grid.
Once inside, we get the requisite “Tron” sequence… The Light Bikes. There are a lot of eye-candy scenes on display… but I hesitate to highlight them too much, despite being fantastic, because that would diminish the film. Instead, I would like to point out the real skill of the movie. Somehow, “Tron: Legacy” manages to feel epically grand. It has many of the same qualities found in great sci-fi movies like “Blade Runner” and “The Matrix”. This is a far more intelligent story than one would presume after seeing the ad-campaign.
I want to point out the cast, who are uniformly superb. Garrett Hedlund has a presence about him that lends itself to movie stardom. Jeff Bridges has two really complex roles that require his Oscar-caliber talents. Olivia Wilde is tremendous as Quorra, a key character in the story. And I want to mention a delectable Beau Garrett, who plays Gem — a small, but memorable part.
And what can I say about Joseph Kosinski — a first time director?! This is a superlative first motion picture. I look forward to anything he puts his name behind in the future. His command of the film is quite extraordinary. His effort makes this cynical critic, who is not known for my appreciation of these types of films, a fully-fledged fan.
“Tron: Legacy” is easily the biggest shock of 2010. I expected silly fluff. I got epic entertainment, grand scope, a pumping electric score (from Daft Punk), depth, zen, humor, adventure, beauty, energy and originality. I was utterly wowed by the film. That doesn’t happen very much any more. I feel like I’ve seen it all before… a thousand times. But I didn’t see this one coming!