Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tron: Legacy


Go and see this film on the big screen. End of line.

Seriously, whether you're being driven by nostalgia, or the simple desire for some loud and shiny things to flit about while you munch popcorn, Tron: Legacy won’t disappoint. Particularly if you keep in mind the fact that this is a high-spec, spectacular looking B-Movie. This cult-film consciousness will help you gloss over the stolid lead performance, some truly horrendous exposition, and the serious God complex that consumes the climax. Instead, you can just appreciate the awesome visual effects, Daft Punk’s scene-stealing soundtrack and Jeff Bridges bringing some Dude-like Zen to his reprisal of Kevin Flynn.

Setting expectations high with the opening 3D 'TRON-ified' Disney castle, Tron: Legacy then ventures back to the 1980s, sets up some father and son love between Kevin and Sam, before Kevin's mysterious disappearance segues to the present day. The intervening 20 years have turned Sam (Garrett Hedlund) into a bit of a bad-ass, prone to hooning around on his motorbike and playing brazen tricks on the current guardians of his father's company. But when Sam attempts to track down the source of an arcane pager-signal, he winds up getting himself blasted onto the Grid (for those who haven't seen the original film, this is a digital world, where programs and code are made 'flesh'), wherein he begins the search for his father, but not before the games begin.

Fans of Steven Lisberger's 1982 original will be eagerly anticipating these ruthless, digital games, and here the 3D effects team absolutely goes to town. Dizzying, intricate and dynamically paced, the boomerang-cum-discus light disc battles and the motorcycle-style lightcycle race are worth the price of admission alone. Indeed these visual delights are only matched by Michael Sheen eating up the green screen in his gloriously campy cameo as a Ziggy Stardust inspired club owner.

The rest of the performances are solid, if lacklustre by comparison, and a badly paced and woefully melodramatic third act does steal some of the high-gloss sheen from the film, but perhaps that can be mitigated if you know as much going in. So, don't expect the writing to live up to the visuals, and Tron: Legacy will make you a very happy user indeed.

IMAX will also be screening Tron: Legacy, with 43 minutes of 'vertically expanded' footage (read: gigantic IMAX visuals). Check the website for further details. 


Published on Concrete Playground
Australian release date: 16 December 2010

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