TRON: Legacy / TRON: Original Classic Combo Set
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, James Frain, Beau Garrett, Michael Sheen, Anis Cheurfa
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Rowan University, 10
“I appreciate smart, but you know man, in this game, you gotta have more than that.” – Stringer Bell, The Wire
TRON: Legacy / TRON: Original Classic Combo Set
Review By: Dariel Figueroa
In 1982 when Tron first arrived on the screen it touted some of the most impressive special effects of its time. Back then, Jeff Bridges played the titular character, Kevin Flynn, a computer whiz that gets sucked into the virtual world he creates. Very quickly, the film became a hit; not so much for its great script, but for the impressive visuals. In fact, its creators even managed to nab two Oscar nominations for their work. Almost 30 years later, Disney revives the mythos of the original to bring us Tron: Legacy, a film that revisits Kevin Flynn after years of being stuck inside his own program once again.
I have to admit I was skeptical going into this film. The original entranced me as a youth but the 80’s flick doesn’t hold up particularly well simply because of the advancement of film technologies. Today, Disney is at the forefront of technology in film and this big-budget action adventure is one that attempts to push sound and imagery to the limit, just as the original did. The question I had going into it was whether or not the script would pull us deeper into Flynn’s virtual world and not rely on fancy camera tricks and cheap action scenes, something that many films in the genre tend to do these days.
Legacy doesn’t necessarily begin where the original film left off. Kevin (Jeff Bridges) has a son now, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), who hasn’t seen his father ever since he left to work on his system one night when Sam was just a young boy. Now a young playboy with abandonment issues, Sam skirts the responsibilities of his dad’s company, misusing the gift of brilliance that was no doubt inherited from the mighty Kevin Flynn. When a mysterious page brings Sam to his father’s old lab, Sam gets sucked into the system that has imprisoned Kevin for years and soon enough, the two meet and race to stop the evil Clu from releasing a hoard of minions into the real world while at the same time ensuring their own safe passage back home.
This film feels like a massive electrical sandbox that we are thrust into, fully visualized and realized it is an entire world built upon the principals that the first film introduced. There is one visual theme built upon the piping motif of the suits making everything glow with yellow, orange, and blue beams of light. The architecture and space within the frame of the film gives enough room to breathe while still allowing the eyes to capture all the unique details. Legacy is just a visual feast for the eyes based solely on the world created here, and when the action begins, and it does come fast and furious at first, the camera takes advantage of
As for the script, it isn’t meaty enough for Hedlund and Bridges to show off any real chops, but the two do a fine job of carrying this picture and Bridges is believable in just about anything he does these days; he even manages to channel “the dude” a few times.
The sound, something Tron was praised for in the 80’s, is quite amazing here and if you get a chance to see this film in surround sound, do so. Thunder and lighting boom and crackle all around you, sinister church organs and twisting synthesizers, Legacy is just as much an audio treat as it is a visual wonder.
The story is quite interesting as well; the makers of the film injected the mythos of Tron with a shot of steroids and everything just seems very epic and large in scale. I hope they make more of these Tron films, as it just feels like a natural franchise, one that contains tinges of other films like Batman Begins, Star Wars and even A Clockwork Orange, all wrapped into one big beautiful ball of neon.
If it’s blu-ray extras you are looking for, then search no further because this thing is packed with features. You get the original film from the 80’s on blu-ray with some special features of its own, a digital and DVD copy of the film, a blu-ray 3D disc, and a blu-ray 2D disc that contains all the special features like behinds the scenes stuff and an option for IPad users to have two screens simultaneously immerse you into the film; in total a five-disc offering.
I want to include a bit about the original film as well because the remastered soundtrack is even more grandiose than it was in the 80’s. As for the film itself, it remains more of a commentary on the future of technology than an action adventure piece like the sequel and it’s a bit harder to digest but, perhaps because of its complexity, more satisfying in the end. Legacy’s use of allusion to its predecessor is evident much throughout Tron and feels like a nice payoff for having watched the original. The effects are dated but if you bypass that, you do end up with a nostalgic piece of fun that sets up a better experience when watching the contemporary edition.
Tron: Legacy is exactly what it should be and a bit more. One of the most impressive visual and audio treats in the past ten years; this is one film that will put stretch marks on your home theatre system. A fun ride that never feels like it’s dragging, Legacy is dynamic burst of energy not to