Tron-Legacy
2010 Running time: 127 Certificate: pg Rating: 5
KA Tron Legacy

Synopsis

In the follow-up to 1982's groundbreaking Tron, newcomer Garrett Hedlund plays the tech-savvy youth who finds himself fighting for his life in the digitised, gladiatorial world that entrapped his father (Jeff Bridges) 20 years before. Disney reboots the franchise with remarkable results in a superb sequel that ticks all the fanboy boxes while delivering an epic adventure with broad blockbuster appeal. With remarkable visuals and an electrifying score by Daft Punk, Tron: Legacy is simply unmissable.

Director

  • Joseph Kosinski

Cast

  • Garrett Hedlund

  • Jeff Bridges

  • Olivia Wilde

  • Bruce Boxleitner

  • Michael Sheen

Review

In an industry where unnecessary sequels and cash-in remakes thrive, it's refreshing to see Disney take a chance on reviving a property that failed to reach its box office potential.

While Tron's use of fledgling CG effects was impressive for the time, this belated follow-up trumps it with an emotionally resonant story and visuals so astonishing they'll be permanently lasered onto your frontal lobes.

Zapped into a deadly digital world in the original - before escaping and becoming a billionaire video game mogul - Kevin Flynn (Bridges) has once again vanished leaving his embittered son Sam (Hedlund) to grow up alone.

When Kevin's colleague Bradley (original hero Bruce Boxleitner) reveals that he's received a page from the missing boffin's disused game arcade, Sam investigates, only to be dragged into his dad's digital domain, The Grid.

Captured by his father's rogue program CLU (also Bridges), Sam survives the digital dictator's gladiatorial games - cue beefed-up light cycles and throwing disc battles - and escapes to meets up with his dad who, thanks to CLU, has been trapped in The Grid for 20 years.

Assisted by alluring program Quorra (Wilde), the two set out to find a way home, pursued by the devious CLU, who plans to follow them into the real world with devastating consequences for mankind.

Directed by first-timer Kosinski, Legacy is an audacious piece of audiovisual art that takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride for the senses.

Although some of the plot is a little fuzzy - particularly the quasi-religious aspects - the quaint premise that was spread a little thin in the original is backed up here with such artistry that becoming immersed in The Grid is inevitable.

Fittingly, Legacy is not overwhelmed by its own technical brilliance, the human heart that beats beneath its polished chrome veneer being felt even over Daft Punk's evocative score.

Reprising his original role, Bridges expertly evolves his carefree hacker into a world-weary sage, yet still exhibits flashes of the old Flynn spark. As CLU he's also impressive, although the digital facelift that takes 20 years off him can be a little distracting.

The real revelation is the gruff-and-ready Hedlund who engagingly fulfils his duties as the hero while bringing real emotional weight to the film's father/son relationship.

While many sequels draw too greatly on their predecessors, Legacy's most obvious antecedent is Blade Runner, another 1982 box office bomb.

Mixing blackened vistas and searing neon, the film's nocturnal pallet is somewhat suffocating, but the startling action set-pieces and stylised sexiness prevent it from getting too bogged down in gloomy techno-fear.

A unique moviegoing experience that puts most theme park rides to shame, Tron: Legacy delivers an astonishing 3D adventure of unparalleled visual and sonic splendour.

Chris Prince

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