27 December 2010

Tron 2: The Mellow Years

Tron: Legacy - Joseph Kosinski

Hark the angels, the return of one of my favourite characters and worlds and it seems to have come at the right time in terms of the technology advancements of the last twenty years. Tron is one of my favourite Disney films, hell maybe even one of my favourite films of all time, let alone it being a Disney film, which many people are surprised to find out, there aren’t well known for live action films. Released back in 1982, it was defiantly “far-out” in how it took a concept about being inside a computer and pushed it to the boundaries of understanding. Sure it was fun, it had action and it had a young Jeff Bridges but it was much hit and misses with audiences, many not seeing the cult status the film instantly caught on. It looked horrible and sometimes felt it, but it was still embraced by the geek community as a film aimed at them and at that time was a risky manoeuvre for Disney, known for their children’s animation. A funny story about the release of the latest Tron was that normally studios would re-release the DVD with some new features, maybe in Blu-ray but Disney didn’t because they didn’t want audiences associating the two. They are ashamed of how bad the film looks and don’t want audiences to think that about the latest one. It’s dedication if anything.

Following many years after Tron, Legacy is about the story of the son of the missing Kevin Flynn, a software engineering genius who is the CEO of Encom, a large computer company, who goes on to find where Flynn is. Played by the newcomer Garrett Hedland, Sam after being tipped off about a page from Flynn’s old office is suddenly transported into the world of The Grid, the world created by Flynn in trying to create the perfect world. The Grid is a world where programs rule and where these programs live their lives but there is a hierarchy where rogue programs would either be destroyed or put into the games. This is where the action starts. In 3D too, it only appears in 3D where we are transported into The Grid which works really well and you see the massive difference in style suddenly come to life. It’s dark for the first 20 minutes but as soon as the light cycle fights happen, it’s really bright and looks wonderful. It doesn’t skip on the action where programs dying in disc fights, and Sam showing how trained he is in various arts. A villain is shown pretty quickly in the form of the carbon copy of Flynn, named CLU who rules over the Grid and also has some problems with the original Flynn. A constant war between the two causes Sam to be sucked into the world to become a pawn in the chess game these two men are having. It has great philosophical aspects along with spectacular 3D action sequences and zips in a good pace.

You may be put off by the subject matter about computer programs and such but for pure action in 3D this is clearly one of the best this year and if anything, i’m looking forward to the next in the series which was defiantly alluded to in how it ended.


Simon Childs

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