20101223

A film review: 'Tron: Legacy'

Origin: United States · Language: English
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Writers: Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis
Genres: Science fiction, action, adventure
Release: December 17, 2010

Casts: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde,
Bruce Boxleitner, Michael Sheen

More info: IMDb

I just saw this film last Saturday, and it totally broke my optic vision! It's only now that I've decided to tell you what I feel about it.

Tron: Legacy to me is by far, the most well-made sequel ever. Exists as a continuation of the original, ground-breaking cult classic Tron which was released back in 1982 (that's 28 years ago, folks!), it sees the debut of first time filmmaker, Joseph Kosinski (who was involved in advertising before signing up to direct) along with the return of most of the key people responsible for the awesomeness that is Tron. I'm talking about the original Tron director Steven Lisbeger who now serves as the producer, and of course Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner who reprise their roles as Kevin Flynn / CLU2 (in this film, CLU is upgraded to version 2, thus bearing the new name CLU2) and Alan Bradley / Tron respectively.

The return of the old team and the familiar trademarks are awesome, no doubt about it. But the sequel also introduced much welcomed newcomers to the sci-fi epic as well; those being Garrett Hedlund as Kevin Flynn's now-adult son, Sam and Olivia Wilde of House fame as Quorra, Kevin Flynn's confidante (the poster features these two characters) and also a bunch of new transportation and gadgets, as well as a redesign of much of the original film's technologies to make it relevant to the in-story digital world's advancements.

Story wise, I'm trying not to spoil anything here and will try to keep my share of this... could-be pathetic excuse for a review (IF you find it pathetic, that is) as generic as I can. Okay, maybe I will, but I'm gonna make it VERY brief. So, basically, it's a tale of a son looking for his father. Let's talk about the other stuff now, shall we?

First off, let's talk about the visuals. While the original Tron successfully attempted to break new grounds into the special effects department, the visual feast in this one actually proved that technology is indeed an important part of our daily lives. Most of the scenery, the atmosphere, and the overall feeling of the digital world feels very realistic. The special visual effects applied are actually very believable; from the derezzed body parts, the dark atmospheres, and even the reflections and lights. They are so seamlessly blended with the live-action actors, I could hardly tell the difference between CGI and live action... except for that very minor and BARELY noticeable technical difficulty of course. Sadly, there's a bunch of other downsides too. Seems to me that the digital city is still a tad barren despite it was told to being 'too advanced'. Nonetheless, the special effects dudes still deserve a handful of kudos for their state-of-the-art effort!  

Other than the mesmerising special effects, the strategically placed sounds and scores also came into play. I technically can't have any say on the sound effects, but I can, however talk about the soundtrack. In order to turn this film into a slightly dramatic, heart-warming father-and-son tale, orchestration is pretty crucial aside from the electronic music that sets the film's digital theme. Music wise, the scores were thrown in at exactly the right timing and it really captures the best of moments in the film. They are also very well-structured, especially with the unique blend of orchestra and Electronica. One more thing... wanna know why the music makes you wanna dance? It's because the score is composed by none other than the renowned French Electronic duo Daft Punk; in a flesh! The first time the production team announced this awesome news, I was in total shock and in indifference at the same time! I mean, NOT having those two robot-headed club bangers to score this sequel is almost like a curse! It's just like... it's already programmed within their helmets; they had to do it! The first time I watched the original, I've already had the image of Daft Punk popping inside my head. Thankfully, my imagination came true after all! Big ups to you Punks! And of course another big up to John Trapanese for orchestrating the scores.

While I find the ear and eye candies to be top-notch, personally, I should say that the writing still needs more input. Even though this film is moderately successful in bridging the gap between the two movies and actually explained why the story is left hanging for 25 years (the original film's story took place in the year 1989; a way of Disney saying "Why did we decide to release the sequel of a 1982 movie NOW"), the writing of the plot and dialogues still feels a little too empty. This is almost the same problem as the first film. However, unlike the first film, the characters don't talk much. But too much dialogue can be a brain buster, huh? So, I guess this is a good move by the screenwriters after all. In fact, it's almost safe to say that you can actually ignore the first film; though it's still highly recommended that you still do, as some of the terms spoken are unique to the franchise even though they were adapted from actual computing terms, so they could mean very differently if you didn't put it in Tron universe's context. It'll make sense ONLY if you watch the original Tron and understand its jargon.

With all the above being said, provided that you ignore all the flaws, you may want to say "I just saw something happened... something extraordinary!" after you actually give this film a go, because to me, the film is a very easy sci-fi franchise to follow and it's great for a jolly good time with friends and families alike. Grab a ticket and go watch it in 3D before the time stops; since watching it in 2D, or Blu-Ray even, is never gonna be the same. Okay...I kid, I kid. The visuals are still amazing even without the 3D glasses on, it has a decent plot, and quite intense actions to keep you glued to your seats.

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