There is one particular Disney movie that has always been near and dear to my heart... Tron (1982).
Sure Tron was released years before I was born (as far as you know!), but it's a classic because it told an interesting and original (and fun!) story about what happens inside your computer. It stood out because it was the first movie to use computer effects to tell a story, which obviously spoke to computer geeks around the world.
Now almost thirty years later, we finally have a sequel: Tron Legacy.
Is it compatible with today's OS, or was it as painful as a blue screen of death... In 3-D...?
The story involves young Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), who hasn't seen his father, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges, and our hero from the first Tron) since he was a little brat. Sam grows up to be a bigger brat, pretty much hating 'the man' and fighting the evil establishment that his father's company has become, until one day he discovers how dangerous it is to click 'yes' on every pop-up on your computer. He accidentally gets transported into The Grid (aka inside the world of computers), and forced to play games to survive.
Fortunately for us, he finds his dad pretty much living as a Zen Monk. Unfortunately for everyone in The Grid, one of Flynn's older programs is seeking to destroy all imperfections... Including Users, (aka all of us).
Okay, it's not a great plot, (didn't we see Star Trek do this storyline once before?), but it's good enough to amuse my feeble brain, and it was nice to see some homage's to the original movie as well, (some more obscure than others). Just don't expect huge surprises or wild plot twists... Remember, this is still Disney folks.
What helps the story move nicely is Jeff Bridges, whether real or CGI, he is still very cool and managed to find the same spirit of the character he created in 1982. Another nice choice was actor Garrett Hedlund. Sure they could have picked Johnny Depp, or Shia Lebouf... But thank God they didn't! It was kinda nice seeing an unknown get a big break, and he was very believable as Kevin Flynn's son.
However the biggest nerdgasm goes to the effects! I reluctantly saw this in 3-D, (and we know how much I looooove that *cough*). But this time it worked! Unlike other 3-D attempts of the past, I could enjoy the action, and still kept things in perspective (pun intended). In your face Avatar!
I have total respect for the effects team, and conceptual artists for doing what they needed to do. They took the original 1982 ideas, and improved, not 're-imagined' them. And huge thumbs up to director Joseph Kosinski for letting me see the action, and feel completely immersed in The Grid, without any painful fast closeups and quick edits, or shadows trying to hide the beautiful world they created. My 125 minutes in the theater flew by!
Let us not forget the soundtrack by Daft Punk, adding the perfect tones to the visuals. In addition to the intense thundering sound effects of the giant Recognizer ships and light cycles, I think my eyes and ears discovered every frequency on the spectrum. I left the theater with the most exciting headache ever!
But... the reason you all hate me, is because somehow with all the surrounding coolness, I still find flaws, (however minor they may be). The movie is known as Tron, but we don't get as much from Tron (Bruce Boxleitner) as I would have liked. Sure he makes some appearances, but somehow I wanted a bit more.
And if I'm really nitpicking... the moment Sam gets zapped into The Grid was a bit anticlimactic for me. It just sort of happened, like an afterthought. As if maybe they spent all their money on other effects, and didn't consider for one moment the transition between our world and theirs should be a bit more momentous.
But what do I know...
I still can't decide between Quorra (Olivia Wilde)
And Gem (Beau Garrett)
And I know what you're thinking, “...Deeesher! Those outfits couldn't possibly be tighter!”. Oh yes... yes, I think they could be.
End of line.