When I was 11 years old, I went to see the original TRON in a theatre that no longer exists. It was 1982, and video gaming was my entire world. I didn’t have a computer when TRON came out, I couldn’t afford one. I just had a dream and a few quarters to spend at the arcade I earned by delivering newspapers on my crappy bike. TRON was a staple game at the arcade, and it was a feeling like no other to grip that controller, drop a quarter, hear the TRON music and be transported onto the grid every weekend. I remember pretending that very same bike was a light-cycle zooming through a computer generated grid. It was a pretty poor substitute, but my imagination was ignited for a lifetime.
A long time has passed since those days. 28 years to be exact. A lot has changed in my life, and in video games. I have been there every step of the way. Ive owned countless video game rigs, computer systems and played thousands of hours behind the controller. When I heard TRON was coming back, after all these years, I was beyond excited. I wrote an article about the early footage over a year ago, way back before the re-design, when the Comic-Con trailer was leaked out and spread like a virus all over the internet. I have been patiently awaiting this film for decades and it’s finally here. Let me tell you, it does not disappoint. Its has once again ignited my creativity and imagination, and my passion for video games.
Visually it is breathtaking, and the 3-D, although not sickening or overpowering, is brilliant and adds amazing depth to the computer generated imagery. From the opening credits of a rezzed up Magic Kingdom (nice touch) to the last frame of the credits, it draws you in to the TRON world like never before. Sam Flynn (Garett Hedlund) is like-able and believable in the role of Kevin Flynn’s son and rightful heir to the ENCOM legacy. Of course Jeff bridges is back, (and what a career he’s had in the past 28 years) as Kevin Flynn and also, serving double duty as the CGI retouched CLU, who I thought was tweaked just enough to be realistic yet obviously part of the computer world. Bruce Boxleitner, who played TRON / Alan Bradley in the original film also returns and does a great job playing his role in the story. Olivia Wilde plays Quorra, and is one sexy program. Some really great supporting cast players round out a very well cast film.
TRON Legacy does not rely on TRON to be seen and fully understood, however there are a myriad of special touches, nods and throwbacks to the original film that kept a smile on my face the whole way through. One very nice addition was a faithful recreation of FLYNNS arcade, complete with rows of video game cabinets from the 80′s, sound effects included, that holds a special place in my soul. Without giving anything away, TRON Legacy sets itself up for a sequel, and TRON 3 has already been confirmed. TRON Legacy has done well in its opening weekend and is sure to continue on through the holiday season racking up the bucks.
DAFT PUNK, the amazingly popular duo of electronic music were signed up to do the films score and what a perfect choice that was. The soundtrack stands alone as a masterpiece of the time and blends together so well with what you would expect that it heightens TRON Legacy beyond spectacular and into pure genius. Personally, its a no-brainer add to my I-Tunes library.
If you want to be dazzled by the latest computer generated images and a very good story, if you were a fan of video games and the original TRON, if you want to be transported to a science-fiction digital world, GO SEE TRON IN 3-D. There really is no other move like it.