TRON: LEGACY Review

First things first, I write this without having seen the first 'Tron' film. Knowing that, I did my best to read up on the story of the first one, I got the gist of it and the beginning of 'Legacy' gives a minor prologue to the present day story that takes place. I am sure having the influence of the original film in your mind though only heightens the story with which unfolds in this long awaited sequel. I am sure it makes things more special, more relevant, and hopefully as mystic and ancient as they make things sound throughout this new film.

'Tron: Legacy' is a visually stunning science fiction epic. It truly is, and if anyone tries to tell you differently, simply ignore them and check it out for yourself. It combines an almost biblical like story with a world so far removed from the era with which we relate those kind of stories it came off not only as intriguing to me, but simply interesting. Throwing in some mighty fine action pieces throughout didn't hurt either. Jeff Bridges reprises his role as Encom founder Kevin Flynn who has been missing for twenty years. Garrett Hedlund, who finally seems to be making some headway in Hollywood, plays his orphaned son Sam who could easily take over his fathers company if he so desired, but instead prefers to live in a small garage with his dog and every now and then sabotage Encom to make right what they betray of his father's legacy.

This is all well and good, but it is when Sam jumps through a portal onto "the grid" as they call it, things take a turn for the, like I told you, interesting. And again, as I said before, I haven't seen the original and I don't know the critical reaction to its story, but the idea of an alternate reality that exists within technology, that is inhabited by ideas, possibilities, anything man's mind could ever imagine is not only epic but seemingly a spectacular basis on which to base a father/son tale. A story of how this Messiah type character that Bridges plays is betrayed by his own creation only to have his only son return and try to save the world he has created from that evil. Sound familiar? Well, even if it has no connection, the film has a plot of depth that is only enhanced by the amazing visuals that come along with it.

The visuals are no doubt what will attract audiences to the film, the world of Tron is one of neon blues and red. It is sleek, fast and everything seems to be right where it is supposed to be. The set design, especially when we finally meet the real Flynn for the first time in his secluded bungalow is reminiscent of a kind of ancient palace with a modern and technological twist. First time feature director Joseph Kosinski keeps the huge epic moving quickly along with gigantic action pieces that include combat games, bike races and mid-air shoot-outs and while these don't always necessarily move the story along, they are exhilarating to watch on IMAX 3-D and offer the kind of escapism the majority of these types of movies lack these days. I feel the film could have easily come off as cheesy in many ways, and at certain points it is hard not to resist a chuckle, but for the most part we accept this world and we go with it.

Bridges gives an invested performance as well as having fun playing his digitally altered nemesis Clue. The biggest complaint I have is the look of Clue's face though. The film has the capabilities to produce some of the most visually stunning sequences and still shots we've ever seen put to screen and yet the animators can't make a face look more life-like? More natural in the way it speaks? That aside, this is simply good popcorn-movie and it has a great soundtrack by Daft Punk that keeps the pacing at a brisk speed so while you have actually been sitting there for two hours, it hardly feels you've been introduced to the world of the grid by the time the climax rolls around.

'Tron' completely met and somewhat exceeded the expectations I had for it. The bottom line is if you are looking to see the most visually amazing film of the year, this is it, and it offers some pretty good stuff along the way of story and acting as well. Whats not to like? Solid film, you should definitely spend the extra bucks on the wall to wall screens and 3-D as well.