Review: Tron Legacy

TRON: LEGACY

Bio-digital jazz, man

The definition of the word legacy is essentially what we leave for others. What does Tron: Legacy leave for its audiences? A thrilling ride? Dazzling visuals? A anaemic story? Legacy leaves you in no doubt of its technical competence, but it also leaves you wanting more.

That’s not to say that Legacy is a poor film, it’s full of decent work by first time director Joseph Kosinski, but the film is perfunctory in its execution. Where the original Tron perhaps suffered from haphazard storytelling, Legacy suffers from a lack of excitement.

The story revolves around Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who disappears from the face of the earth, leaving his family and company (Encom) behind. 28 years later and his son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) has grown up but is reluctant to take his seat at the company.

When Kevin’s old business partner Alan (Bruce Boxleitner) receives a page from Flynn’s old offices Sam checks up on it. Discovering his dad’s hideout he gets zapped into Tron where he meets his estranged father and finds himself in the middle of a conflict between Flynn and C.L.U, a younger Kevin Flynn with designs on taking over the world of Tron.

The story is simple, engaging but recycles a lot of tropes and archetypes in the sci-fi genre. The main story – Sam re-connecting with his father – is well done but for the most part the film plays it safe, never really diving into uncharted areas. At times it’s too easy to guess the what will happen next and there’s a lack of danger and tension.

The score by Daft Punk is easily the best part along with its stunning visuals. The score complements rather than draw attention. If you’re a Daft Punk fan, don’t expect the score to redefine film music. It’s simply an extremely well done effort that keeps their iconic electronic beats while merging them with an orchestral score.

The visuals themselves are sleek and stunning, the action scenes are handled well (though at times they feel perfunctory). Every frame looks gorgeous.

Olivia Wilde is terrific in her role as Quorra, inquisitive, wide eyed and adventurous. She adds spark to a film and has a presence you can feel in each scene. Acting across the board is good; it’s good apart from one…

What doesn’t work is C.L.U or more specifically his look. As you’ll no doubt know, a younger version of Jeff Bridges’ face was mapped on to another actor and the technology just doesn’t seem to be there to make for a convincing performance. It works when the character is still, but as soon as CLU talks it falls apart. Another reason CLU feels rather weak is that despite his intentions, he doesn’t present much of a threat. His plan is also just too absurd to believe.

What Legacy gets right are the visuals, score and (some) performances. What it doesn’t quite achieve is a sense of danger or suspense or excitement. The story is unsurprising but enjoyable. There’s much to like about Legacy but unfortunately it does not hit it out of the park.

7/10

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Posted on 10/12/2010, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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