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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Tron Legacy, it's pretty good actually

Written by Richard Scott

Obviously the styling had to be 
updated a bit but its still very much a sequel
In 1982 Disney let Steven Lisberger create the Tron world known as the Grid, over the past 28 years it has stayed as something recognizable even to people who haven't seen the movie. The Film itself, lets face it was a bit silly, however it was also somewhat groundbreaking in the way that it brought a new view of technology to the early 80s public. Not to mention the fact it had some pretty badass ‘lightcycle’ battles and impressive effects for it’s days, it has been said that without Tron, there would have been no Toy Story... For these reasons among others it has become somewhat of a cult hit, and in 2005 the idea for Tron Legacy, a sequel, was hatched. Tron Legacy has all in all not had the greatest of reviews, some people have viewed it as cashing in on a cult classic, other have slated it for being more effects than anything else. They were wrong, partially. 

First of all, considering the original film was based upon the computer world of the early 80s and was in fact a fully summarized, one off film, it’s not exactly the easiest thing in the world to follow on from. If you were a fan of Tron I’m sure you would of seen Legacy by now, and therefore might well of formed your own opinions. For those who are unaware of the original it’s based upon the idea of ex employee Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) breaking into the mainframe of the company he used to work for in order prove himself as the creator of what has made the company what it is. However during his attempts to retrieve said proof, he is sucked into an alternative reality in which computer programs appear as people and live in a world where nothing really appears to happen expect dictatorship and extreme sports. Kevin successfully escapes from this world in possession of what he needs to gain back his respect and win his role as head of the company, he accomplishes this with thanks from a friends program, known as Tron, and a potential lady partner, known as Yori. Some fighting goes down, with crazy glowing discs, awesome motorcycle battles and strange big flying things. As I’ve said, it’s all a bit silly, it’ll make a lot more sense if you watch it.
Clu - Kevin Flynn 
So for the the sequel they’ve brought it all up to modern day, Kevin has been missing for over 20 years, the company which he then became head of has become hugely commercial and his son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) has gotten all angry, but that's not all! Sam finds a way into grid, where a similar set of events happen to him as did to his father in the previous film. However he meets in there his missing dad, a modern day Jeff Bridges, somewhat old and grey, and his side kick, Quorra (Olivia Wilde). Confusingly there is also a 1980s Jeff Bridges in there known as Clu, a version of him created with the vision of in turn creating a ‘perfect’ world in the grid, surprisingly this techno character went a bit mental and dictatorish. I cant really tell you any more for fear of spoilers, but I really do highly recommend watching the two movies to find out what it’s all about. 

Tron Legacy has done what other films have attempted and failed at horrendously, it’s resurrected a hugely iconic film and created a genuinely well made, well written sequel. Sure, its a Disney film, it’s gonna be a bit twee in places, in fact the whole start of the movie before Sam finds his way into the Grid is so full of clichés and simple plot turns that I had some doubts, but it does draw you in. The acting is in most places, fantastic, Jeff Bridges easily pulls you in as a somewhat lost old hippy, living in exile and convinced that his connections with his real world had been completely severed. He also pulls off the 1980s Jeff Bridges, Clu, very well, with some CGI based help of course, to create an impressive double role, role. In soft light and through the 3D glasses, this animated character can be very convincing, but there are points where you just go ‘hang on a second, he looks weird’ which is somewhat of a shame. I can in no way criticize the acting of Garrett Hedlund, for a man I’ve never actually heard of, he’s done a very good job. Olivia Wilde’s Portrayal of young lady who has lived in a computer generated world is massively charming. But in my opinion the greatest performance comes from Michael Sheen, who plays Zuse, a schizophrenic man about town, who is recommended as an aid to Flynn family, but double crosses the heroes and is eventually shown as being nearly as sad and lonely a man as the one who was lost for decades. Then he dies, sorry about that. 
There are some very obvious color themes running through the movie, the Grid is a dark, dark place, the floor is black, the walls are black, the people wear mainly black clothes, and the sky? It’s pretty black. In fact it's safe to say its quite a dark film, in the mood it sets as well as visually. This makes the the viewer quite weary of the whole place, everything seems to be quite eerie, the scenes out in the streets of the Grid all seem to summon suspicion and tension. This brings all the more attention to the characters clothes, where as most characters wear back with neon strips, the occasional apparent good guy is dressed in white. None more so than old Jeff Bridges, who the first time you meet is in a white room, meditating on a white pillow, wearing white robes surrounded by streaming white bubbles of data. Soon he changes to a black robe with bright white neons, this clearly shows him as the god like character and creator of the Tron world. He provides a Morgan Freeman like aura around him throughout the course of the entire film, this is a role that is bound to aid his climb to being recognized as one of the great actors of our times. 
 Pretty much all other characters have neon lights on their suits, the more evil characters are all red neons, where has Sam and the other good guys are in blue, the evil alternative Jeff Bridges appears to be somewhat of a halfway mark in an orange tinge. This really seems to take any doubt away as to the role of characters as soon as you meet then, however there are a couple of exceptions to this rule, that provide some clever doubt in the viewers mind. The film is packed with little tricks like this that kind of draw you in and form your opinions before you're aware it, making it an easy film to watch for all ages, but not insultingly so. 
Daft Punk get Tronned up for the excellent soundtrack
All in all Tron Legacy is a thrilling movie, its well shot and directed, the acting is exactly what you need in such a film and they’ve done an excellent job with scripting a difficult sequel. Not to mention set it to an incredible soundtrack by daft punk, the visual styling is stunning as many of will have already seen and that is reason alone to draw some people in. In my opinion its a more than fitting continuation of a fantastic movie. But don’t take my word for it, watch them both, they’re light hearted and a bit silly, but they also say a lot, and don’t be fooled by it being a Disney film, it’s in a category of its own. Sure, the plot may have the old whole or two, some things are failed to be explained at all in fact, but in defence if they had gone into huge details on all the little things then it would of been overwhelming in explanations of a fantasy universe, and surely thats the point of fantasy, your imagination. So I suggest you ignore the uptight reviews, and go watch it, you'll have fun, honest. 

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