Y’know Tron? It’s a lot like that, only with 28 years of computer graphics advancement. Though if I have to expand: Tron was ahead of it’s time, the first major film to use CGI effects and a cult classic. It goes along the lines of a young rebellious programmer, Kevin Flynn, breaks in to the place that formerly employed him, Encom, to get proof that a best selling computer game was his work. While he’s in there he becomes digitised and sucked in to the world of the computer. Along the way he over throws a dictatorial master program that the head of the company instated with the help of a friend, Alan Bradley, and his program; Tron. Once back in the real world with his proof he becomes the head of the company.
So Tron: Legacy picks up 7 years later with Flynn telling his young son, Sam, all about what happened inside the computer and promising to spend time with him the next day at the arcade he owns. Then we discover he disappeared that night never to be seen again and the board overthrew Alan, now his partner, to take control of the company. Then we skip the next 20 years and find Sam now grown up and breaking in to Encom during a board meeting, where they are discussing the release of their new operating system, Encom OS12 and how basically nothing but the number has changed. When Alan complains that Flynn wouldn’t have run things this way they basically dismiss him and Flynn.
Sam breaks in to their server and releases the new OS on to the internet for free then escapes the building. When he returns home he finds Alan wanting to discuss Sam’s annual “prank” on the company and the possibility of Sam becoming CEO of the company. When he refuses Alan tells him about a page he received from Flynn’s arcade and perhaps he should go take a look. So Sam goes to investigate his father’s office at the arcade, only to find a computer with a running program in the basement which he tries to access, and he ends up being digitised and taken in to the computer.
So I’m not going to spoil the plot beyond the basics, so lets leave it there for now and get down to what I thought. The guy who plays Sam isn’t the best actor in the world, he feels rather dull and lifeless as a character, never quite showing the wonder and emotion you’d expect of someone in the situation he’s in. Olivia Wilde as Quarra was actually pretty good, she did a good job with the child like enthusiasm she showed, I thought. Jeff Bridges does a good job of portraying 2 different characters though older Flynn kinda seems like The Dude on from time to time, and the digital age reduction works a lot better than previous attempts I’ve seen, though it still looks wrong and occasionally just looks like a CG character rather than real actor. Oh and Michael Sheen’s brief appearance steals the film, he is absolutely excellent.
The CG is, as you’d expect, excellent. Unfortunately some of the “real world” scenes seem to be digital sets and just don’t seem quite right, though it’s nothing too bad that would pull you out of the film entirely.
There seem to be a lot of bad reviews out there and I’m not sure why, anyone who’s seen Tron should know what to expect from the film really. I do have a few minor problems with the film, such as why is there such a fuss at the start with the young star of Encom saying he’s taken care of things when he isn’t anything to do with the rest of the film? Though the rest of my problems are things that seem to be set up for a possible sequel, with the way the film is left open at the end.
I’d say it’s definitely worth seeing, and the 3D, while not strictly speaking necessary, is done pretty well. Though the fact that there are sections that are 2D speaks to how necessary it is. It does deserve to be seen on the big screen for the spectacle though.