Directed by: Joseph Kosinski | 125 minutes | action, thriller, adventure, science fiction | Actors: Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Michael Sheen, Bruce Boxleitner, Olivia Wilde, James Frain, Yaya DaCosta, Serinda Swan, Amy Esterle, Beau Garrett, Elizabeth Mathis, Brandon Jay McLaren, Steven Lisberger, Owen Best, Michael Teigen, Thomas Bangalter , Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo
‘TRON’ (1982), inspired by the classic video game ‘Pong’, is one of the first science fiction films produced by Walt Disney Productions. Since the release of this movie, a lot has changed in the game and movie industry. Twenty-eight years later, according to the Disney film studios, now Walt Disney Pictures, it is therefore high time for a modern sequel to the aforementioned cult film. The sequel ‘TRON: Legacy’ (2010) is Joseph Kosinski’s film debut and puts themes such as ‘man as a computer program’ in a contemporary guise. The film opens with the famous Walt Disney Pictures leader, the castle logo. The logo is fully digitized, 3D and in science fiction style. It is an impressive Disney calling card that sets high expectations for the new TRON film, now in 3D.
Despite the graphical differences between ‘TRON’ and ‘TRON: Legacy’, things have also stayed the same. As in the original version, the character Kevin Flynn is played by Jeff Bridges. The Oscar-winning actor has become a Hollywood celebrity in recent years. In ‘TRON: Legacy’ he proves this status again, even twice. Bridges also plays his own opponent Clu in the film. Both characters know Bridges’ typical, charismatic calmness. Unfortunately, they are supporting roles. The lead role is assigned to the lesser known actor Garrett Hedlund. He plays Sam Flynn, Bridges’ son. Hedlund and the rest of the film cast manage to hold their own against Bridges, but that is all about it. The characters they play don’t really stand out. This is partly due to the superficiality of the film script. TRON: Legacy is characterized by simple dialogues and a predictable story structure. The story has little tension and rarely surprises the viewer. Disney had to take the young audience into account. Fortunately, the story is easy to follow for the younger viewer. Aside from the simplicity of the film, the fast-paced fight and action scenes, reminiscent of a virtual and kid-friendly version of ‘Gladiator’ (2000), make the film very entertaining.
What ‘TRON: Legacy’ mainly gets its strength from is the exceptionally good art direction. Sets and shots have been worked out down to the smallest detail. Acts and positions of the characters are static, as if a dance is being performed. Backgrounds and objects consist of perfected symmetry at times and are shaped by artistic lines that symbolize the perfect ‘virtual’ world. It is a clever and creative piece of design, which is further accentuated by the visual quality of the CGI and 3D effects. Kevin Flynn’s residence is a bright and fluorescent home. The style of the interior is very similar to the famous Baroque room from the end of the classic science fiction film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (1968).
More and more internationally renowned music artists are venturing into film music. For example, in ‘The Social Network’ (2010), the soundtrack was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. In ‘TRON: Legacy’ it is the job of the electronic music duo Daft Punk. It is a very appropriate and obvious combination. Daft Punk has always had a futuristic sound and image. The modest, electronic sounds are perfectly reflected under Kosinski’s qualitative science fiction images. The film can be seen as a long futuristic Daft Punk music video. On a content level, the film is sometimes a bit too predictable. Of its kind, ‘TRON: Legacy’ is far from revolutionary. The film does manage to deliver visual top quality for two hours.