New on DVD: TRON: Legacy

By Robert B. DeSalvo

Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde star in the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi film.

Director: Joseph Kosinski Rating: PG Studio: Walt Disney

This long-awaited sequel to the innovative 1982 sci-fi film TRON will take fans on a light-cycle ride to neon nirvana. Jeff Bridges returns as Kevin Flynn, the genius software engineer and CEO of ENCOM International, who disappeared in 1989. Twenty years later, Flynn’s son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), is ENCOM’s controlling shareholder but takes little interest in his dad’s business until ENCOM executive Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) urges Sam to investigate a page from his father’s old arcade. It is there that Sam is transported to the Grid—a virtual world inside the computer—and the real fun begins.

The Grid has changed a lot since the original TRON—it is now an inky-black, minimalistic wonderland of glass illuminated by neon lights and punctuated by the electronic grooves of Daft Punk—and Sam is immediately captured there by the computer world’s drones and forced to participate in deadly games with other programs. He meets Clu—the program alter-ego of his father that is played by a reversed-aged Bridges—and escapes via light cycle to the off-grid Outlands with the help of Quorra (Olivia Wilde), the last of a series of sentient “isomorphic algorithms” (ISOs) birthed in the Grid that Clu set out to destroy. Quorra, in her body-hugging outfit that leaves thankfully little to the imagination, reunites Sam with his father, who has been trapped in the Grid for all these years and living in isolation. Father and son hatch a plan to access the portal and escape back into the real world, but Clu wants Kevin’s all-important identity disc to escape into the real world himself. Their ultimate fate might lie with TRON (a reverse-aged Boxleitner), the original security program created by Alan, whose current loyalties are unknown.

TRON: Legacy is available individually on DVD, Blu-ray or Blu-ray 3D as well as bundled with the original TRON, which makes its high-definition debut in the two-movie collection. If you have the setup, the 3D version is the way to go because it is simply the best-looking Blu-ray 3D out there for mass consumption—the depth in the screen is impressive as light cycles race and crash into shards of glass that pop out of the TV. The computerized reverse-aging effect done on Bridges and Boxleitner is revolutionary and will be used (and misused?) by filmmakers for years to come. The simple story of a son struggling to reunite with his father is nothing new, but Bridges and Hedlund make their connection seem touchingly real in the artificial surroundings. Sexy Wilde and the neon-lit ladies of the Grid add to the never-ending eye candy and make us hope that we don’t have to wait another 28 years to get our TRON on.

Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray versions have a sneak peak at the upcoming animated series TRON: Uprising as well as “Visualizing TRON,” as well as “Launching the Legacy,” the “Derezzed” music video by Daft Punk, and the ability to sync a computer or iPad to the movie being played on your TV to access additional content via Disney Second Screen.


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