If special effects, 3-D depth of field and action-packed cinema are what you crave, then "Tron: Legacy" is the movie for you.
Just like the original, "Tron: Legacy" pushes the limits of known cinematography and brings special effects to the next level. It even boasts an amazing new techno score by Daft Punk which will leave you tantalized and filled with anticipation as its new-age rhythm moves the story along.
But even with all the amazing sights, sounds and veracity, the thing "Tron: Legacy" can't boast about is its story. Like other technologically advanced movies before it, including its predecessor, "Tron: Legacy" has too much budget spent on special effects and not enough spent on what matters most, the story and the acting.
If you've seen the original "Tron," you'll remember box-like 3-D models, floating pixels running all along the character's silhouette from green-screen bleeding, and an overall "blah" special effects look. The 3-D "Grid" world Disney has created in the sequel is so realistic and so full of vibrant and beautiful environments that you'd believe the producer and the actors were literally digitized by a laser and filmed inside the real thing!
For those who haven't seen the original, let me give you a quick overview. Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is the programmer and head CEO of a large video game company, Encom. One of Flynn's programs is stolen so he and his compadres sneak into another video game company to try and steal it back. While there, he discovers a master control program with advanced artificial intelligence which quickly fires a special laser at him and "digitizes" him into the computer world, aka the Grid. Here, digital inhabitants, called programs, duel each other in special arena-type games.
"Tron Legacy" follows Kevin Flynn's son, Sam (played by Garrett Hedlund), who, after his father's mysterious disappearance, becomes a rebellious orphan. One day, Alen Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), an old friend of Flynn's, comes to Sam with an impossible event: He's just been paged by his father's old arcade. What follows is a dangerous expedition as Sam accidentally stumbles upon his father's secret laboratory and enters the Grid. He discovers that his father's own digital creation has turned against him and the two must team up with a warrior program, Quorra (Olivia Wilde), to save the Grid, their own world, and return home in time to repossess Flynn's old company.
Overall, the movie was very choppy and to be totally honest, dull and cheesy. Some of its dullness is due to the fact that it's been 28 years since "Tron," so half the movie is spent re-explaining the original storyline. The entire movie was very dramatized, and it seemed like every decision and movement the characters made took them forever. There was also only a handful of lines during the whole two hours, yet nearly every time an actor spoke, you wanted him to immediately shut up because what he was saying was either totally cheesy, or totally imperceptible.
The other half of the movie was chock-full of action, though, and it seemed that not five minutes could go by before someone pulled out a weapon, or lightcycle, and unleashed hell on their surrounding opponents.
Also, I highly suggest seeing "Tron: Legacy" in 3-D. For those disappointed in other 3-D films by flat images, not enough realism, or not enough objects flying out of the screen, "Tron: Legacy" has no such disappointments. The 3-D depth of field is quite realistic and hardly ever do characters appear flat or fake. There are several scenes where objects jump out of the screen to attack the audience, but this effect was not overdone.
In the end, "Tron: Legacy" is a beautiful masterpiece of vibrant digital effects, sound and action. But, what it fails to offer is a first-rate storyline that will leave the audience wishing for another sequel.
Shane Goudy is a junior at Northridge High School. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.