The following is by no means a review, though I have tried to think critically. Consider it my personal reflection.
The collection of clips compiled for today’s TRON Night preview add up to 23 minutes and 49 seconds. Don’t worry, I didn’t take a stop watch, I read this fact on the BBFC website. Perhaps you’ll consider this running time too much – many people complain about how much plot is given away in the typical three, four minute trailer.
To put spoilerphobic minds at rest there was a note at the start of the sequence, bearing the name of director Joseph Kosinski. It promised all of the scenes in the preview would come from the first half of the film, and it is definitely fair to say that they were all set-up and very little pay-off.
The first sequence we saw, which a title card told us was Scene 20 (though I’d say it must have run into scene 22 at least) was presented in 2D. I think this is important to note because I’m not sure how many people have realised already – this film is broken into two parts, with two formats. The real world is being represented in 2D, the virtual world of “The Grid” is where the 3D comes in.
It’s a Wizard of Oz conceit, in essence, and I’m not sure it’s the best idea. If nothing else it underlines how 3D is still being treated like a novelty and is getting applied to storytelling, for the most part, in very simple terms. I’d have been happier with all 3D, all the time.
Now, soon enough, our lead character of Sam Flynn, son of Kevin Flynn, suffers a similar fate to his father and finds himself inside the digital TRONverse, this aforementioned “Grid”. I wonder – now that Matrix and Grid are taken, what options remain for Vincenzo Natali’s film of Neuromancer?
After this point, we were in 3D, and the CG kicked up a notch too. The next scene was the one I’d already seen and written about at Movie-Con, showing Sam being selected to take part in “Games”. But now I also got to see something of the actual games.
Sam is was being forced to fight for his life in a kind of gladiatorial spin on frisbee meets squash, a kill or be-killed struggle in which the combatants through their TRONny discs at one another until one of them is derezzed into oblicion. Sam is shown fighting against a digital opponent who the sharp-eyed will recognise as an action-figure shown on the shelf of Sam’s childhood bedroom in the trailer.
A subsequent scene showed Sam and Quorra meeting each other in a kind of Lightcar version of Batman’s Tumbler. The beginning of this can be seen right here on Bleeding Cool. After the meet and greet, however, the Batman factor goes up yet another notch or two as the Lighttumbler drives into a secret, hidden-in-a-cave Bachelor pad.
This is where we meet Kevin Flynn, as he is now. For me, this is where the story started to get really interesting. This looks like it might well be, at heart, the story of a son, an absent father and his other son, unruly and dangerous. This is the hook that the film has in me. This is what I want more of.
I do miss the aesthetic of the original TRON. It’s much more distinctive, and as a result, fresher than the imagery of Legacy which has a lot more in common with its rivals and competitors. Much of this is down to the means of production, and the innovative, hands-on tech of part one blended with nascent CG techniques in something never repeated; Legacy shares its tech, and in effect much of its texture and feel, with a good number of other big-budget pictures.
There was a lot of other monkeying around, but describing action sequences to you would just suck the life out of them. These are better experienced than inferred from somebody else’s memoirs.
TRON: Legacy will be unveiled in both the UK and the US on December 17th.