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Monday
Dec062010

Tron Legacy - Review (no major spoilers) update**



Directed By: Joseph Kosinksi

Run Time: 125 min

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde

1982 is a long time ago. If you were a child of the 80s you will probably remember Tron fondly, with its neon lights, weird glowing mix of computer graphics and live action film.  In fact it was truly a game changer, and actually is credited with giving birth to CGI and many of the special effect techniques we hold so dear today. UPDATE** Ok so I actually watched Tron again all the way through for the first time in ten years and I didn't realise just how much religious comment there was on the surface of a much more complicated plot than I remembered. In fact the original plot/script is far more intricate and interesting than the sequel, also Bruce Boxleitner who is and created the character/programme Tron is a lead role in the original but very much a lightweight secondary figure (Flynn jnrs unofficial guardian) in the sequel.

(slight spolier but no more than you get from the trailer)
So 28 years on and Jeff Bridges reprises his role as IT genius Kevin Flynn who now lives permanently in the grid he has created like a cross between God and the Big Lebowski. Things change when his son (now grown up) is drawn into the digital universe and they both have to fight against CLU (Flynn's idealistic creation/representation of younger self).

(spoiler)
CLU having shaped 'the Grid' into some kind of pure fascist state where perfection is his obession, queue a series if similar sort of 'creation' style religious bothering allegorical references that peppered the first film. Especially around the origins of Quorra.

I don't want to throw any more spoilers at you so I won't go into anymore plot details, suffice to say that the 3D visuals and special effects are quite simply awe inspiring and alone make this film worthy of a trip to the IMAX. The 3D deployed is only featured in the digital world, none of the visuals actually come out of the screen at you but the sense of depth and total immersion in the universe set before you can still manage to twist your head clean off your shoulders.

Garrett Hedlund is pretty watchable as Sam Flynn without being corny and arrogant, Olivia Wilde steals all scenes as the mesmerizingly beautiful Quorra and Michael Sheen puts in a superbly flamboyantly camp cameo as Zuse.

The script is pretty tight although it can plod at times and I am not sure why the older Flynn is such a hippy, ok so I get that he is the opposite of his younger self but I didn't really buy into that (again more zen creations refs abound). Making Flynn 'The Dude' whilst fun is pretty needless, but it doesn't really take much away from the film. The Daft Punk film score is inspired as is the costume and set design, think Blade Runner channelled through Clockwork Orange.

The action sequences will have your jaw dropping even if at times you feel they don't really flow or make sense, in fact that is the one issue I had with the film, as brilliant as the characters are and the environment they are in - the plot thread that stitches it all together is wafer thin. But who cares? In truth the 8 year child in all of us will be re-awakened by this movie and the adrenalin pumping round your body will overide the slightly thinning layer of substance and logic throughout. Bare in mind this has more plot than Avatar (which isn't difficult) and is in my opinion more interesting to look at (I got so bored looking at femal Navi that when i got home I went on a smurf killing spree). There are plenty of social undercurrents and comments on creation and spirituality woven into the film but I think you can take out /read into it whatever you want to as it avoids dampening the narrative.

You don't have to have seen or love the first film to love this, you just have to have an imagination and a pulse.

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