It’s definitely not the legend the Star Wars series was, but has enough digitized action to throw Sci-Fi fans in frenzy. The sequel to the 1982 movie –Tron – which saw lukewarm success at the box office, in its new avatar, courtesy a $200 million budget handed over by Disney to Joseph Kosinski, is definitely visually groundbreaking.
Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) is the rebellious son of computer visionary Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), who at age 7 is abandoned by his father. Two decades later while poking around his dad’s video-game arcade – a set that reminisces the 80’s – Sam is sucked via a digital portal into an incredible virtual world, The Grid, and in Sam’s words – “more beautiful than I’d ever dreamed and more dangerous than I ever imagined”, we couldn’t agree more. Neon piping-lined-latex-blacksuit-donning people battle out lethal light stream emitting motorcycles, glowing Frisbees, staffs and digital grenades. One must advance the treacherous levels of the game or be “derezzed” (broken into a gazillion digital pieces and cancelled). Although they came with a heavy price tag, the digital effects prove to be a worthwhile investment. In a heart rendering scene Sam is reunited with his father. His digital apprentice Quorro (Olivia Wilde) is an ISO, a program anomaly capable of bio-digital miracles. The trio must defeat Clu, Kevin’s alter ego and the dictatorial ruler of the Grid, to escape back to the real world. Clu is a blend of Jeff-Bridges and his CGI-youthened face and body. This same pioneering technology was used in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and has been further perfected here. Face to face of Kevin and his 25-year younger digital self, Clu, is creepy. The digital clone has surprisingly realistic expressions.
In the first half it’s bold, sleek, fast-moving and exciting but falls into a mundane drone once you’ve seen it all. The story takes a backseat and performances are average. Bridges manages to get a couple of laughs out but most characters are stoic and expressionless. Micheal Sheen steals the show as the very campy eccentric owner of the End of Line Club – a hip party techie style!
This one’s over-the-top, for sure, but that’s exactly what you signed up for! The setting is jet black against vibrant neons and an electric soundtrack by Daft Punk (a French group) is trippy. (Mental note to self: must download). For those willing to let go a bit, sit back and let the visuals wash over you take that IMAX 3D screen seat. Non-techies are on their own.