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dir Joseph Kosinski
scr Eddy Kitsis, Adam Horowitz
prd Sean Bailey, Steven Lisberger, Jeffrey Silver
with Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, Michael Sheen, James Frain, Beau Garrett, Amy Esterle, Owen Best, Brandon Jay McLaren, Anis Cheurfa, Cillian Murphy
release US/UK 17.Dec.10
10/US Disney 2h07
Black and neon: Sheen and Hedlund
Boxleitner and Bridges in Tron (1982)
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
It's fairly safe to say that most of the fans of this long-awaited sequel won't have been born when the original Tron was released in 1982. With the derivative story and direction, the whizzy effects are its only calling card.
After his computer-genius father Flynn (Bridges) disappeared, Sam (Hedlund) grew up not wanting anything to do with Dad's business. But when the company shifts priorities, he takes action. This sparks a message from Flynn's business partner (Boxleitner) that sends Sam investigating the old arcade game Tron. Suddenly, Sam is zapped into his father's cyberworld, where he has to battle to stay alive. And when he finds his now-old dad, he teams up with the hot Quorra (Wilde) to defeat the evil leader Clu (a digital young Bridges) and get home.
It's the father-son dynamic that makes this film watchable, even if the screenplay seems rather uninterested in the issues at hand. The thin plot strains to work in a series of visually intriguing (but logistically confusing) scenarios and accompanied by a pulsing Daft Punk soundtrack. Everything is glassy and black, and darkly beautiful, but without a resonant story it begins to feel very dull. And even the ubiquitous neon accents can't bring it to life.
The cast is fine, with Bridges offering an amusingly Zenned-out performance as the older Flynn, sparking off the lithe physicality of both Hedlund and Wilde. There is some connection between these three, although the actors never get to make much of it. And Sheen pops up in a wacky scene-stealing role as a swaggering club owner who seems to have wandered in from The Fifth Element.
References to other films abound, from the parallel-underworld setting of The Matrix to a continual stream of Star Wars echoes, from Clu's Darth Vader entrance ("I am your father") to a folding-wing plane with a Falcon-like gun turret. But besides the blacked-our colour scheme, there's nothing original here. By contrast, the 1982 film was so unusual - in story, structure and imagery - that it forever changed cinema without anyone quite noticing. It's hard to imagine that anyone beyond fanboys will give this movie much more than a passing look.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2010 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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