Tron: Legacy (2010)
Dir. Joseph Kosinski
Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) is adrift in the world having lost his father (Jeff Bridges) twenty years ago in suspicious circumstances; his father literally disappearing off the face of the earth. Now 27, Sam occasionally sabotages the large conglomerate empire his father and business partner Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) created back in the ’80’s. Alan receives a message on his pager from Sam’s father’s office and tells Sam of this. Intrigued, Sam investigates the run down arcade which his father used to work out of. He stumbles across his father’s hidden computer lab and, whilst accessing the computer in it is zapped into “the grid” – a digital world that Sam’s father had created decades ago that sought to create a true utopia.
Sam struggles to stay alive in this world, run by the mastermind program CLU – who was created in the likeness of his father to seek perfection in the grid. Sam discovers his father has been trapped inside the grid for the last twenty years and goes about trying to free them both, battling CLU in order to do so.
I enjoyed this film. I would’ve loved to have seen it on a big screen but unfortunately my circumstances didn’t allow me to do so. However, i still enjoyed the experience and slick visuals. VFX have sure come along way since the original Tron (released in ’82). The design and action sequences were a joy to watch.
The writers must have had a field day with this storyline for it seems to have included every archetype under the sun. Clearly they had studied Joseph Campbell’s book a fair few times and are avid fans of star wars. Unfortunately they did not have the time available to them to flesh out all of the interweaving narratives in this Tron mythology as Lucas had in his duel trilogy. This created a slightly clunky effect for structurally the narrative had to jump cut and breeze over useful plot points (ie. The Darth Vadar-like awakening of Tron defending the users at the last moment).
Having just seen True Grit also i felt like it was the Jeff Bridges show. Especially considering he played four characters in this film it kind of weirded me out a bit. I reckon they got away with digitally recreating a younger Bridges in the character of CLU for he was an artificial character anyway.
I enjoyed many themes in this film and would gladly watch it again to enjoy the action sequences and study the grid’s design in more detail. One of the themes we are left with is having a digital girl in a material world – which i find intriguing and a poignant topic to explore in our contemporary culture. Oh, and i should really mention the great revival of ’80’s music and vernacular. I giggled when Bridges switched “the Dude” on in his portrayal of Kevin Flynn.