Tron: Legacy makes its 1982 forerunner look like just a sketch of what the digital world it portrays was intended to look like. The new addition brings vibrant color and a tangible feel to the foreign computerized realm a world that awed audiences from start to finish.
Sam Flynn is a 20-something rebel whose computer-genius dadKevin Flynndisappeared 20 years ago after claiming he had found a miracle that would change the world.
While rummaging through his fathers old arcade, Sam comes across a secret room that houses his fathers fossil of a computer andunknown to hima laser that digitalizes flesh and sends Sam into a digital reality that his father created called the Grid.
Sam finds his father, who has been imprisoned in the Grid, and the two proceed to formulate a way to return home together. Yet they encounter a computer program named Clu, who looks just like Sams father, who has other plans for the recently reunited father and son. Suddenly their escape plan becomes more difficult than they expected.
Following Sam and his father on their digital journey allows the audience to see the beauty of the world that first-time director Joseph Kosinski invented. The Grid is a stunning image to behold; every aspect of architecture is highlighted in neon light, and streamlined high-tech gadgets flash across the screen. The action scenes, expertly choreographed, show off this alien world in a way that is intricately captivating but still easy to understand. The film incorporates many of the same concepts as the original Tron light-cycles, disc battles, and creative representations of the inner computer but brings the digital world into the 21st century and beyond.
One minor flaw in the computer generated imagery (CGI) for Tron: Legacy appeared in the animation of Clu. Because Clu is supposed to look like Kevin Flynn but 20 years younger, the animators had to use some CGI to shave two decades off of his appearance. While impressive and actually rather convincing, the animation can be detected every time Clu smiles or talks. Theres something unnatural in the way his mouth moveshe looks like a really well-animated character from a videogame. However, this seems to be the only place the CGI falls short.
Additionally, the audience may get so caught up in the excellent visuals and flashy action scenes that they fail to notice huge holes in the plot. For example, much of the movie revolves around Sams father discovering isomorphic algorithms and how he believes they will be able to transform the world in every field of science and technology. Yet the film never explains how they would accomplish this or what gives the algorithms the qualifications to do so. In another instance, Clu claims he has found a way to release all the computer programs into the real world to dominate reality as well, but the movie never describes his plan or how this could take place.
When these vague moments arise, the viewers are expected to just fill in the gaps with their imaginations. The problem is that this is a very visual movie about a world humans arent supposed to understand, so trying to depict concepts beyond this foreign, digitalized world in relatable terms seems futile.
Altogether, Tron: Legacy is an entertaining movie and one audiences will enjoy if they can overlook the insubstantial plot and plunge into the visuals. While Sam is pulled into the Grid, viewers will find themselves being sucked into the film and held captive until the credits roll.