Starring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Boxleitner, James Frain, Beau Garrett, and more
Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
Premise: Sam's father disappeared twenty years ago. As Sam continues trying to deal with the abandonment and pushing his father's legacy along on in his own way, he's told an old friend got paged from a phone that's been disconnected for almost as long as his father's been missing. With a little prodding, Sam goes to check it out and his adventure begins.
Review: Hubby and I saw the original Tron way back in the day. We were some of the privileged few who got to see it with the stagnant then energy infused apartment belonging to Yori when she meets secretly with Tron. So you could say we've been somewhat looking forward to this sequel.
Visually, the new film is stunning. Absolutely MUST be seen in the IMAX 3D. All the old vehicles are there with a makeover, looking shiny and new. Though no tanks were seen shooting (major bummer) and only glimpsed from afar. There were all sorts of new personal vehicles to watch being played with though - like personal fighters and wing backpacks. The planes even leave the same deadly trails as the motorcycles (though I wasn't sure that made much sense as it was not in a game scenario). The motorcycle game went multi level, but they removed the 90 degree turns that proved so deadly in the original.
Jeff Bridges and Tron (who we saw very little of per say) were taken back to their original youth by utilizing digitized renditions taken from the original film. This works, for the most part.
Plot wise, they went a weird direction. In many many ways the new film follows the same steps as the old one. Clash and shenanigans with Encom (they had the HUGE door from the original that led to the lab. I so enjoyed that!). Dillinger's progeny is there though he has nothing really to do, just a gimme of sorts - I figured since they'd bothered to bring him in they'd do something with him, but no. Dumont's name is flashed around as fan giggle fodder. Once Sam is unwillingly sucked in to the grid he is promptly captured and thrown to the games (Very nice and mechanical seeming scene where his clothes get taken and him changed: like an assembly line) - first discs and later cycles just like his father. And more. If you've seen the original film, keep an eye out and you will see what I am talking about. (Don't want to give all away!)
As if to make up for the deleted room scene in the first film, you'll get a nice long look at Flynn's place in the digital world. Though it's been humanized. They make up for this later when you see Programs bumbling about looking at the strange things he's made. (Almost like Flynn had made his own programs for his furnishings like you can in Second Life Online.
While they keep the lingo from the original film, it is used a lot less and almost thrown in as an afterthought. I was somewhat bothered by the introduction of a bar in this digital world. Somethings were turned too much into normal human things - while it fit Flynn and his home, it did not fit in the grid. These are Programs. There should have been more originality in how they differ from us in their downtime and general life IMHO.
They introduce ISOs but really don't give you much about them. (Really it's but a crutch to give us a specific turnout at the end.) Also the falling out that turned everything so nasty was very vague. Just because your interest shifts does not mean betrayal or that you aren't looking towards that end anymore. It felt lame?
So while visually fulfilling, story wise it was a little lacking. Oh, and there's no BIT. You see him as a firework and as a couple of toys, but no BIT. Was really hoping they'd have BIT in there! :P
So overall, it was entertaining and beautiful if not totally satisfying.
Rating: Visuals 4.5, Story 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby rating: worth full price of admission)