Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
Premise: A sequel to the 1982 film. Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), the hero of the original film, has disappeared. While searching for his father, Flynn’s son (Garrett Hedlund) gets transported into the digital world and finds it run by C.L.U., a sinister program determined to take total control of the digital universe.
What Works: TRON: Legacy is an impressive sequel. Like Brian Singer’s Superman Returns and Peter Jackson’s King Kong, TRON: Legacy is partly a tribute to the original picture and the film includes plenty of references to it that fans ought to recognize and enjoy. Where Legacy exceeds tributes like Singer and Jackson’s films is in its continued development of the themes of its predecessor. Like the original TRON, this is a smart science fiction film, dealing with the social and spiritual implications of the relationship between human beings and technology. Legacy smartly takes the conflict to a new level advancing the ideas established in the original film and developing them to a more complex state. In 1982, the original TRON was largely a speculation of what a digital world might be like; in 2010, TRON: Legacy is a nightmarish commentary on how technology has invaded our lives and changed our culture both for better and for worse. The imagining of the digital world in TRON: Legacy is in keeping with the advancement of the themes of the original and Legacy is one of the most beautifully crafted science fiction films of recent years. The visuals in this film are stunning and it is worth viewing in a 3-D theater just for that quality alone.
What Doesn’t: The character work in TRON: Legacy is fairly standard. Although the father and son get some dramatic moments together and the characters are adequately developed, the subplot of their relationship is mostly pedestrian. Supporting characters in Legacy also suffer from underdevelopment such as Michael Sheen as a morally ambiguous underworld figure and Olivia Wilde as an ally of the heroes.
Bottom Line: TRON: Legacy is a very good science fiction film. It smartly develops ideas of the original film while making its own statement about our digitally networked world.
Episode: #321 (January 9, 2011)