Anooj Patel– Staff Writer
Tron: Legacy, a film unmatched in its special effects and visual qualities, enraptures its audience. The film explores the concept of harmonizing virtual reality and entertainment. The old arcade game, Tron, is given a new spin where the light cycles can actually be driven by the gamers. This film is definitely worth it as it shows a very clever and creative vision of futuristic gaming and technology. However, in terms of storytelling, the film falls short of the mark.
The film starts off with Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), software engineer and CEO of Encom International, talking to his son about his work with creating a virtual world called The Grid. Kevin then disappears, leaving his son as the controlling shareholder of Encom International.
The movie then jumps forward 20 years when Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) meets Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitneir), a friend of his father and an executive at Encom. Bradley tells Sam about how he received a page from his father’s old arcade. Bradley urges Sam to go investigate the matter as his father has been missing for so long. A disinterested Sam gives in, and pays a visit to his father’s arcade. He discovers a passageway into his father’s sealed computer lab.
Sam begins to fiddle around on a computer, accidentally causing a digitizing ray to send him into The Grid. He enters an amazing virtual world built by his father for gaming. However, the game leads to something extraordinary. As Sam enters The Grid he is approached by a group of programs given anthropomorphic form that take him to a fighting arena. He then fends for his life as he fights against programs in a game called Disk Wars.
Sam soon finds his father, with the help of Quorra (Olivia Wilde), one of the programs. His father tells him how he got stuck in his own creation. Kevin had created a virtual copy of himself named Clu whose goal was to create perfection in this virtual world. Clu began to take matters into his own hands and ultimately took over the Grid and all of its programs. Kevin says he can’t leave the virtual world without risking Clu escaping as well.
The film’s acting is remarkable. The actors create a perfect balance between humanity and the cold logic of computer programs. The world of The Grid is truly brought to life, to the point where it is difficult to remember that it is a simulation. The performances are very believable, although the movie’s writing could be better. Every so often the film fires off some cheesy line that ruins the mood. More importantly, the plot was fairly contrived and simplistic. First time director Joseph Kosinski does an excellent job in creating this new virtual world and depicting this digital world, but he loses the viewers in a poorly written plot.
The animation, special effects, and music of the film are the only good reasons to watch it. The film is far better as a sensory experience than as an intellectual one. The 3-D effects and motion capture technology is incredible, and at the same caliber of films like Avatar. In fact, the character of Clu, was made by purely computer-generated imagery, yet was indistinguishable from the rest of the cast. The best special effects are seen when Sam is fighting against programs and playing the futuristic version of Tron in an amazingly crafted light cycle. The film looks fantastic! To further embellish these scenes, the movie chooses Daft Punk as their main source of music. This electric combination proves to be very effective.
I give this movie a three out of four light cycles as the visual effects of the film kept my eyes riveted. The plot did not speak to me, the gaming scenes were incredibly done, and the technology used to make it all happen was stunning. I recommend watching this film to anyone who just wants to see exhilarating effects. Make sure to watch it in 3-D and in IMAX to make the experience even more enjoyable!