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Tron: Legacy



Cora (Olivia Wilde) and Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund). Cora (Olivia Wilde) and Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund).

Tron - the 1982 high-tech classic which had sci-fi fans and video game geeks bursting with excitement - was never a great film, let's be honest.

However, there is no denying it had a cool concept (computer programs portrayed as people), a young and supremely charismatic Jeff Bridges in the lead, and some pretty fancy effects to boot; it was one of the first films from a major studio to use extensive computer graphics.

Director Steven Lisberger (Tron: Legacy producer) was inspired to make the film in the 70s after seeing the arcade video game Pong. Made by Atari, the ping-pong retro classic was one of the first of its kind to reach mainstream popularity.

While I wasn't as keyed up as some to see the Tron story reprised in Legacy - some men were giggling like schoolgirls in my cinema before the screening commenced - I was eager to hear the score by French electro duo Daft Punk, and to witness the stimulating visuals in 3D.

I was impressed with both. The music is intense and enigmatic, comprising classic gaming sounds and a mixture of orchestral and electronic elements.

Fans of the Daft guys, known for their groundbreaking sounds and robot personas, are even treated to a cameo by the beatmakers, who play (of course) digital DJs.

When protagonist Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) hits the cyber club, pasty blonde temptress in tow, their distinct sound kicks in with full force.

It's here we see the pair on the decks; it's hilarious to see them spin records as violence ensues around them (such dedication to the craft).

The big budget special effects are slick and complex, creating a cyber world 'grid' that is frightening, perplexing and disorientating.

In the original Tron, young Bridges plays gifted software engineer Kevin Flynn, who is zapped into the digital world and forced to pay games, gladiator style. He escapes and all is well.

In Legacy, two decades on, Kevin is back in the grid and his son Sam follows suit.

Dressed in white and sporting a Zen-like persona (perhaps Christ?), Bridges is mesmerising.

Surprisingly, his character is not that different from the loveable Dude from the Coen brothers' classic, The Big Lebowski.  

TRON: Legacy (PG)
Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde
Screening: now
Rating: Four stars
Reviewed by: Sara Fitzpatrick

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