Saturday, 25 June 2011

Tron Legacy

I saw Tron Legacy on DVD a few weeks ago and I've been meaning to post my thoughts on it.

I can't say I'm a giant fan of the original. I do remember seeing it in the cinema as a child and I can remember doodling light cycle races on the page of my school exercise book when I should have been paying more attention to what the teacher was saying.

The new movie appeared in cinemas at the end of 2010 and seemed to get a good number of mediocre reviews. Therefore when I popped the disk into the player I had low enough expectations.

The movie opens with a scene set in the 1980s with a younger computer generated Jeff Bridges aka Kevin Flynn telling his son Sam a story about his adventures in The Grid. I noted the Black Hole poster on the bedroom wall! Flynn leaves and is never seen again. Two decades later and Flynn's company is making lots of money from their operating system. It's making Sam rich but he isn't taking an active part in running the company.

As you will have seen in the trailers Alan Bradley, played again by Bruce Boxleitner, turns up with the news that he was paged from Kevin Flynn's old phone that has been disconnected for 20 years. Sam zooms off to check out the old Flynn video arcade and promptly gets zapped into The Grid.

At this point I have to say I do like the look of The Grid. Everything is shiny and glassy. No, not quite glassy, but there is a pleasing almost-translucent quality to all the surfaces.

Sam's quest sees him try to make it to the portal that will let him return to the real world. Along the way he takes part in the games, including I am glad to say, a light cycle race. He also meets the young computer generated Bridges character CLU who informs him "I am not your father" in a nice reversal of the famous line from The Empire Strikes Back. Later Olivia Wlide's Quorra takes him to meet the older Bridges who is indeed his dad and has been trapped in the Grid by his own creation.

I found I liked the relatively minor character Gem very much. She is one of the 'sirens' who gives Sam his Grid type outfit for the games. Later she appears again and takes Sam to meet Caster in the night club place. I liked that actress's performance as there is always a little half smile on her face that suggests 'I know more than you do'.

There are a few surprise reveals that are not too surprising, namely the true identities of Rinzler, Quorra and Zuse respectively. I saw them all coming but maybe a kid would find them surprising so that's ok.

And I enjoyed the movie very much. I'd certainly rate it a lot higher than the mediocre reviews. it held my attention throughout, I connected with the characters, was suitably amazed at the visuals and it's also worth noting that I really enjoyed the music soundtrack. It's also nice to see the original design of the light cycle appear.

Any negatives? Well I thought the CGI Bridges was good but there was something not quite right with the eyes. But then he's a CGI creation representing a computer program, not a human, so maybe that's ok too. otherwise it was pretty amazing to see what they can do with CGI now.

Overall I liked it and right away it went on my list of movies to buy on DVD.