Film Review: Tron: Legacy

Tron: Legacy is all about spectacle. Just like the 1982 original, the narrative is exiguous at times, but the special effects are captivating.

Several years after his father Kevin’s disappearance, Sam Flynn is reluctant to take over the reigns of his father’s company. Investigating a new development in his father’s mystery disappearance, Sam is pulled into a cyber world where programs duel to survive…

Tron is a strange choice for a very delayed sequel. The film did lacklustre business at the box office upon its 1982 release, although it has become something of a cult favourite since then. Tron is best known for its pioneering use of CGI. Tron: Legacy is very much the progeny of Tron; the films share similarities in terms of strengths and weaknesses.

Tron: Legacy‘s story is not the most engrossing. The film uses a similar premise to the original, albeit with the addition of Kevin Flynn already being a part of the cyber world. Sam finds an obligatory love interest in Quorra; an interesting, if fairly predictable, character. The dialogue is sometimes cringe worthy, particularly Sam’s one-liners during the action sequences. As well as harking back to the original film, Tron: Legacy exhibits shades of Gladiator in the games sequence. The film also depicts a poster of Disney’s 1979 film The Black Hole, a remake of which is the next project Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski is due to tackle.

Tron: Legacy‘s strength lies firmly in the visual. The virtual world that Sam is pulled into is nothing short of stunning. A combination of neon and monochrome, Darren Gilford production design is effortlessly futuristic. Kevin’s apartment and the downtown bar are particularly memorable. Coupled with this are the film’s special effects. Special Effects supervisor Eric Barba has done a magnificent job in taking about thirty years off Jeff Bridges.

Daft Punk’s soundtrack is wonderful, and feels entirely in keeping with the tone of the film. Tron: Legacy is very aware of its 1980s ancestry, and appeases it with touches such as the inclusion of a couple of classic tunes from the decade.

Garrett Hedlund is adequate as Sam; the role does not call for too much of a range. Jeff Bridges has enormous presence in Tron: Legacy, aided in part by his multiple roles. Olivia Wilde brings a necessary stiffness to Quorra, while Michael Sheen offers some frivolity to proceedings as Castor.

Go and see Tron: Legacy purely for the spectacle. The story may not be absorbing, but the visuals certainly are.