Elliot Hyams returns to the world of sexy programs and killer Frisbees in Tron Legacy.
It’s happened to all of us at some point. A drunken conversation leads to some nostalgic reminiscing about a brilliant film from our youth until finally someone claims to own it on VHS and puts it on. The room falls silent until finally someone says what everyone is thinking “Actually this is a bit shit isn’t it?” One such film that falls under this category is Disney’s Tron. This may be seen as heresy by the many fans of the film, whilst it does deserve recognition for its ground breaking special effects, it featured a ludicrous script and one of the most nonsensical narratives of all time involving Jeff Bridges being sucked into a digital universe to lead a cyber rebellion. But regardless of this, it came to be regarded as an iconic classic with fans just as passionate as any Trekkie or Jedi wannabe. Now nearly thirty years after the release of the original, Disney has once again embraced cutting edge visual technology to take us back to the world of Tron.
After his initial voyage into the grid games designer Kevin Flynn returned to the real world where he took control of software company Encom and fathered a son before mysteriously disappearing. Twenty years later Encom is a mega corporation run by a greedy board of directors much to the chagrin of Flynn’s son Sam. When his father’s best friend Alan receives a mysterious message Sam heads to his father’s office where he is digitized and sucked into the grid. There he encounters Clu 2, a program created by his father twenty years ago who controls the new system as a ruthless dictator. Sam escapes Clu’s clutches with the help of a mysterious program named Quorra who leads him to his father who has remained trapped in the system since Clu defeated Tron and seized control of the grid. Together they attempt to defeat Clu and find their way back to the real world.
Like its predecessor Tron Legacy uses the latest in C.G.I to wage an assault on the senses. The world of the grid is fantastically designed and realised, this combined with an amazing score by Daft Punk make watching this film akin to watching a laser concert, and it is thoroughly engrossing. Fans of Jeff Bridges will be thrilled to know he is on great form both as a CGI enhanced version of his younger self in Clu, but also as the older Flynn who has become a Lebowski style cyber Jedi. Tragically like its predecessor it isn’t a particularly good film, the script draws genuine laughs for the wrong reasons and the gaping holes in the narrative can cause physical pain to a viewer’s brain. But Tron Legacy doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is, it is pure spectacle and as such it does succeed. It’s sleek and sexy in a way not seen since the Matrix, it features action, light bike chases and everything a fan boy could ever want. In many ways watching this film is like going on a date with Cheryl Cole, she may not have anything intelligent to say, but boy is she nice to look at.
Review by Elliot Hyams