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‘Tron: Legacy' dazzles with striking visual effects, Daft Punk score

While vast technological improvements have allowed first-time director Joseph Kosinski to dramatically upgrade the visuals, the long-awaited sequel still pays loving homage to the groundbreaking 1982 cult favorite “Tron.”
Oklahoman Published: December 17, 2010
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With its dazzling special effects, striking score from Daft Punk and canny use of 3-D imagery, “Tron: Legacy” proves a transportive cinematic experience that takes audiences on an entertaining quest through a wonderfully weird digital frontier.


While vast technological improvements have allowed first-time director Joseph Kosinski to dramatically upgrade the visuals, the long-awaited sequel still pays loving homage to the groundbreaking 1982 cult favorite “Tron.” But “Tron: Legacy” has been made to stand alone, which is vital since Disney failed to re-release the original film on DVD or Blu-ray in advance of the sequel's theatrical bow.

“Tron: Legacy” opens with computer pioneer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) regaling his young son Sam with stories about “The Grid,” the digital frontier he has created and can literally traverse. Kevin goes into his office one night and never returns.

Having grown up an orphan (his mother is dead; this is a Disney movie, after all), Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) becomes a rebellious daredevil, a brilliant programmer in his own right who refuses to take his place at the helm of his father's company, Encom.

Sam seems content to spin his wheels until family friend Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) brings word that he has received an inscrutable page from Kevin. When Sam enters his father's old office inside the long-abandoned Flynn's Arcade, the younger Flynn is pulled into “The Grid.”

The digital universe proves both dangerous and gorgeous, with its color scheme of midnight black, electric blue and neon red, its population of outlandish humanoid programs and its exotic gladiatorial games. Sam is dispatched to the gaming arena, where he must engage in souped-up versions of “Tron's” memorable identity disk battles and light cycle races.

Sam learns his father is alive and trapped inside “The Grid,” the prisoner of his computer doppelganger Clu, a program Kevin created to perfect his digital realm. But perfection is a subjective concept, and Clu's quest for this elusive ideal has turned him into a deadly tyrant.

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MOVIE REVIEW

“Tron: Legacy”

PG2:073 stars

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, Michael Sheen and James Frain.

(Sequences of sci-fi action violence, brief mild language)

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