TRON: Legacy (2010) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

This is the closest we’ve come to what Avatar was able to accomplish last year, proving that when a film is made specifically for the 3D illusion from the on-set, it is well worth it. Many people are comparing Tron Legacy to Avatar across the Internet, the interesting thing about the comparison is that Tron uses 3D in a more gimmicky way. The beginning is all 2D (although the opening title sequence is in 3D), the film switches to 3D once we enter the computer world. That’s a great idea, but it definitely feels more like a ride at an amusement park. It also begs the question will this movie be worth it on DVD, without the 3D effect?

There’s no need to see the original before checking out this sequel, mainly because they give you plenty of backstory, perhaps spending a little too much time on it. Also included is one of the most awe-inspiring Disney logos at the film’s opening. Jeff Bridges is great as always, and even his CG clone, Clu works well in the movie (good news for those who weren’t fans of the CG Schwarzenegger in T4). Olivia Wilde gives a standout performance as Quorra, who teams up with Sam and reunites him with his father. Garrett Hedlund’s performance reminds me a lot of Sam Worthington’s in Avatar. He fits the part and does a fine job, but he just doesn’t have the strength of the other cast members. Michael Sheen makes an appearance as a crazed night club owner, something that strangely doesn’t seem out of place in ‘The Grid’.

The world of Tron Legacy, or ‘The Grid’ is spectacularly detailed, more so than you would think possible. It’s not unlike the detail in the forests of Pandora in Avatar. The action sequences are enthralling enough, especially when the Daft Punk score kicks into high gear, although they did leave me wanting more. For such a long film (2hr 7min), there are very few scenes, and the movie ultimately could have played much better had it been cut down by 15 or 20 minutes. Regardless of its shortcomings, Tron Legacy is a solid piece of work and worth seeing. Any scifi fan is guaranteed to love it, and regular audiences will certainly be entertained. With such a downer summer (and year really) for movies its nice to see this year go out with a bang.

Note:
This is a must see in 3D theaters. If you have a choice, see this on an IMAX screen. Not only am I sure the visuals will be more impressive, but the Daft Punk score will boom on the 7.1 surround sound in those theaters.

Director: Joseph Kosinski
Stars: Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde

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2 thoughts on “TRON: Legacy (2010) – Review

  1. Yes the worlds of Avatar and Tron are different, but they are both very realistically portrayed. So I agree with you, completely opposite types of places. When I said it was unnecessary to see the original it was mainly to calm people who couldn’t get a hold of it and let them know that it was fine if you don’t watch it before seeing Legacy. I would again agree with you that there is quite a lot of stuff in Legacy that people won’t catch having not seen the original, but those things aren’t integral to Legacy’s storyline. My feelings on length are simple, this was a little too long for a theatrical release and would have been better to release as an extended or director’s cut. Now mind you I didn’t dock Legacy any points for it’s length, as you said this was just my personal opinion.

    Thanks for leaving a comment, your thoughts are much appreciated!

  2. Good overall review, I agree with you for the stars rating, the comparison to Avatar in terms of a complete, realistic-looking 3G world (yet, with the cold glass, obsidian & marble look, almost the inverse of Avatar, no?). I have to disagree on two points though… while it is indeed unnecessary to see the original Tron first, I would add that it is highly recommended. Everything in this movie, from Clu 2.0 (Clu 1.0 was in the first Tron, as Jeff Bridges’ on-grid invasive search program) to the rebellion against Users, to Flynn’s powers as the Creator, to the outlands off the main grid, to the way programs deres… it’s all in the first one. Even the instructions regarding the disk that Sam gets were lifted verbatim from a speech given to Kevin Flynn by Sark in the first Tron. The entirety of the movie and how well it was developed into a working sequel is much better appreciated if you see Tron before seeing Tron Legacy. Second, I would disagree that shortening the film would have made it better… I thought scene length played out just right to keep from being a pure action/suspense movie. That’s personal opinion, of course, but with the more drawn out scenes than Hollywood typically produces, this felt more compete (even though, in the end, there still are some plot holes, but far less than might be expected after a 30-year plot & production gap).

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