Tron Legacy in IMAGE 3D is nothing less than a visual masterpiece of effects and appearance. From the fantastic looking multi-level lightcycle chases to the disc fighting scenes, this movie really made you feel like you were on the grid. Good sound effects and a nice sound track from Daft Punk helped in this regard as well. Much like the original movie did, this movie seems to have raised the bar on visual and cool effects.
However, also much like the original movie, where this movie falls a little short is with a very simple and predictable storyline.
Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) who rose to power at the Encom company by the end of the first Tron movie gets married, has a son, loses wife, then mysteriously disappears – leaving a young boy to grow up without his father. Meanwhile, Enron (kind of a fictional version of Microsoft) has new players at its helm which apparently don’t include Alan Bradley, creator of the original Tron program and friend to Kevin Flynn. None of this though has much to do with the overall story of the movie, in fact very little of what goes on in the real world does. Instead the movie focuses on a civil war started on the grid, the virtual world that Kevin Flynn created and that later trapped him thanks to a rogue program named Clu. Clu is a clone of Kevin Flynn and is played by a digitally-altered Jeff Bridges to mimic his appearance in the original Tron movie. Clu controls the grid, seeking to expand his vision of perfection from the digital world to the real world.
Unaware that his father is trapped in a cyberspace civil war, Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) grows up – and is lured onto the grid by Clu. There he meets an ISO, abnormal programs who spontaneously appeared on the grid. The chaos they engendered led to the break in the Flynn-Clu relationship that leads to civil war. Following Clu’s genocide of the ISO’s, only Quorra (Olivia Wilde) remains having found shelter with an exiled Flynn.
The plot isn’t bad, it’s just… predictable. There are some nice throwbacks to the original Tron movie. The son of Ed Dillinger, the guy who ran Encom in the first movie and was removed for essentially stealing all of Flynn’s ideas, is now the local hero at the company. (This honestly didn’t make sense – why the company would hire the son of a man they fired – but the real world had little bearing on the overall plot.) We also get to see a vintage lightcyle, the phrase “End of Line” tossed around a few times, and some replicas of the bit program at Flynn’s place. We also get to see Flynn’s Arcade again; it looks the same with the addition of a lot of dust and cobwebs.
I recommend that fans of the first movie make the trip to the theater. Pay the extra money to see it in IMAX 3D if you can. Much like AVATAR, this movie is visually pleasing to the eye and worth seeing in 3D.