Director: Joseph Kosinski
Running time: 125 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): PG
UK Release date: 17th December 2010
Watched on Sky+ Monday 22nd August 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I admit I was a fan of the original 1982 film TRON and, despite many poor reviews I was still intrigued to see the updated version. Well, visually, it’s quite stunning, but to be honest, the writers of those many poor reviews did have a point. I did like the music though, even a reprise of the song from the original film; “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” by Journey. Most of the original music was produced by Daft Punk, which seemed to fit the technological mood pretty well. But more of my thoughts later, here’s a brief summary first.
Kevin Flynn became a successful businessman at the end of the first film. He later got married and had a son, Sam. Several years later he mysteriously disappeared without a trace. His son, now grown up is disillusioned and refuses to take control of the company that is rightfully his. One of the directors, and friend of his father, Alan Bradley, comes to him one day saying he’s been paged by Kevin. Strangely though, it has come from Kevin’s old games arcade that hasn’t been running for years. Sam goes there and finds Kevin’s old workshop. Turning devices on, he is digitised and downloaded to ‘The Grid’. Now, ‘The Grid’ is run by a program written by Kevin called Clu, who looks like Kevin did 30 years ago. Clu’s mission is to remove any imperfections on ‘The Grid’. Sam is made to play games or risk being killed. He reluctantly plays, but is rescued by the mysterious Quorra. She takes him off ‘The Grid’ to meet his real father. Sam desperately wants to get his father out of there and it’s a race against time to escape the world of TRON. I won’t say any more as I don’t want the Spoiler Police to de-res me.
As I’ve already said, the visuals are quite stunning in this one, I cannot fault most of the CGI. I saw it in 2D so I cannot comment on the 3D-ness of the picture. Decent performances all round; Jeff Bridges did a good job as both Kevin Flynn and Clu, although he was CGI’d as Clu and that didn’t quite work as well as it might. Garrett Hedlund was ok as Sam Flynn, as was Olivia Wilde as Quorra. It was also nice to see Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley and reprising his original role as TRON.
I think the main problem with this film was that it was too much like the original, as far as the story goes. It’s all about getting from one place to another to escape something bad and get home. Very ‘Wizard of Oz’ if you like. Unfortunately, we’re all too familiar with that story and after a while it becomes boring. Yes, the visuals are quite stunning, but that doesn’t make up for a rather predictable an, sadly, dull plot. The dialogue didn’t help matters much either, it was all far too pedestrian I’m afraid… Sadly, the critics were right in this case… Not recommended.
My Score: 5.3/10.
IMDb Score: 7.0/10 (based on 83,476 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50/100 (based on 221 reviews counted at the time of going to press).