Friday, December 17, 2010


Still from TRON: Legacy 3-D
Walt Disney's TRON: Legacy 3-D is a visual spectacle unlike anything you've ever seen. The story picks up in 1989 where Software Engineer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) mysteriously disappears and his young son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) is left trying to understand what has become of his estranged Father.

Expressing discontent with the business affairs of ENCOM, the corporation which his Father and partner Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) helped build and in which he is a Stakeholder, Sam's rebellious spirit drives him to sabotage their massive software launch single-handedly.  Alan who remains an ally of Sam, supplies him with the Keys to an Arcade which his Father owned, where they both shared many a fond memory prior to his sudden disappearance. Sam then uncovers his Father's secret quarters in the basement of the Arcade and finds himself transported to his Father's virtual world of Danger and Fantasy, The Grid.

Certain that he has found his Father in this alternate reality, Sam encounters a virtual clone of Kevin named Clu (Bridges), who was created to help achieve programming perfection in a world divided by Users (Humans) and The Programmed (Virtual Beings). Clu we learn, has become over-ambitious, turning against his creator Kevin and hence some light is shed upon how he disappeared. Sam is led to Kevin by Quorra (Olivia Wilde), a trustworthy sidekick who was rescued by Kevin and now as a result, she is forever indebted to him. Together Sam, Kevin and Quorra are determined to escape The Grid in a race against time to reach The Portal, which would bring them back to reality. Will the three of them be able to escape the destructive Clu before he obliterates them?  Will Kevin have to pay the price for manipulating life's natural order?

Despite its heavy dependence on technological trickery, TRON: Legacy 3-D stands on its own as a remarkable movie-going experience - it is groundbreaking and standard-setting by all means. In retrospect, it is astonishing how far CGI technology has progressed since this Film's 1982 predecessor. The Grid is depicted as a lacquered, endless abyss with surreal dimension and depth. Never for a moment do we feel we are completely safe here as we journey along with Sam.

Bridges as always, is superb here in a role which has him doing double duty as both good and evil - younger and older. Yes, somehow the technology used in this Film has enabled Bridges to find that illusive Fountain of Youth, appearing in present day and also a close resemblance to how he looked almost 30 years prior. Michael Sheen who plays a flamboyant David Bowie-like Zeus, is incredibly spirited here in all too short an appearance. Wilde after this breakthrough role, will be on many a Screensaver and Wallpaper for Girls worldwide - incredibly cool and disarming at once. Hedlund, whose profile continues to be boosted considerably, will be a major star after TRON: Legacy 3-D with his Guy-Next-Door likeableness; no one can resist.

My only concern here is that Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, both known for their work on Television series Lost, wrote an uncharacteristically meager Screenplay. With all the screen time devoted to Action sequences, one would think that a bit more could have been done to advance the unbreakable Father-Son bond they so badly want us to buy into. Despite the character of TRON (Boxleitner) being integral to the story overall, hardly enough is done to flesh out his character and this is disconcerting because so much of everything else is done well here.

Regardless, Walt Disney's TRON: Legacy 3-D is something to be seen despite its obvious shortcomings. And did I mention that brilliant Electronic and Orchestral Score by French duo Daft Punk also? The Film Experience hits theatres today. Grade: B+

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