TRON: Legacy

Directed by Joseph Kosinski

Whatever you thought of the 1989 debut iteration of TRON, starring the sturdy Jeff Bridges as a man who is caught aspicked in the innards of a computer game, this iteration looks far more profligate with CGI and special effects, and specializes in extravagant 3D effects with occasional, deliberate 2D scenes to ease the bridge of your nose from the heavy special battery-run specs required for this film.

TRON: LEGACY offers everything the 14-year-old nerd would welcome. A virtual-world worker tries to take down the Master Control Program from the inside. No bad words, heavy erotic anything, references of scatology or bathrooms. Loads of chases and despoiling of other human-like male beings. A few decorative and pointless females in shiny second skin stretchy materials. To be sure, there are spectacular motorcycle races, overwhelming event horizons, convergences, gloomy bad-ass virtual dudes with defined musculature—and the piece de resistance, a couple of Jeff Bridges look-alikes from 1989 playing opposite his current more grizzled 2010 self.

The now grown-up son, rebellious Sam Flynn, played by Garrett Hedlund, seeks his long-gone beloved dad, Kevin Flynn, one-time patriarch of Encom and game-design pioneer. Encom, now, runs sans its founder lo these many years. One admires the composite name—if nothing else—which combines the ill-fated Enron with the laudatory premier syllable of encomium. Nice touch; like the substance in AVATAR called Unobtainium or some such unintentional humorous throw-away. There are overlong sequences of flashy light-diode frizbee discs, amazing high-tech electronic accumulated-on costumes a la IRON MAN, and a series of black-light vistas and topographies that flow effortlessly in cyberspace inevitabilities. “Programs” [buff game-piece men] crumple picturesquely into silvery cubes or picturesque crimson-and-orange fiery plosives when ‘hit’ or zapped. Script exchanges are <yawn> on the level of freshman philosophical profauxndity.

Compared with the outsized spectacular movie-making accomplished in the superb THE KING’S SPEECH, with breathing, pulsating, thinking human beings in recaps of real circumstances, TRON falls very short, despite the mega-millions spent to entrance the eye of the embryological specie young.

Even with copious free popcorn, always a bad sign, the couple next to us disappeared for half the film, no doubt occupied with more salacious and enjoyable acrobatics than could be located on the screen 10 feet in front of us.


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