Tron is another of those movies that occasionally aims in some interesting directions but always slides back into familiar territory. The best way to sum it up is it takes the original movie’s then-groundbreaking effects (so groundbreaking the American motion-picture academy called it cheating) and revs it up with modern effects, while simplifying the original’s story and keeping the campy dialog.
The story starts in 1989. Jeff Bridges’ Flynn is now the owner of ENCOM and is telling his son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) about “the grid”, a place that exists “inside” computers, shortly before disappearing. Flash forward about 20 years and Sam is obviously still dealing with abandonment issues but lucky Bruce Boxleitner has been hanging onto a pager for 20 years (and possibly a DynaTAC too) and he’s been paged by... someone- it’s a pager after-all.
Before long Sam has been zapped into the grid, finds dad who’s kind of turned into The Dude and is living up in the mountains with Olivia Wilde (as Quorra, a native of the grid and a kind of a cross between Avatar’s Neytiri and the original film’s Yori characters) while Flynn’s clone Clu has been running the place like a roman emperor with plans of getting off the grid and seeing the world with his re-programmed glow in the dark army. It’s going to take a lot of Daft Punk to stop him.
If you go into it expecting a kids’ movie then it’s pretty good. As readers can guess, there’s very few surprises (including the sequel set-up) but there’s occasional good lines like Clu’s “I’m not your father - but I’m very glad to see you” that is kind of sinister or Quorra asking Sam what 19th-century author Jules Verne is like. I saw the film opening night so, as with is often these kind of films, the the audience was more fun than the film itself and about 90% looked like they where born after 1989.