Have you ever wondered what, exactly, goes on inside your computer? Why it always seems to crash when you most need it to work? Why running too many programs at once causes pages to hang? Me neither.
I recently re-watched 1982’s Tron, however, and I'm now certain of what’s behind these technological conundrums – there are scores of nano-people inside computers and sometimes they fight each other and sometimes they drive digital motorbikes into walls. If you think that sounds far-fetched, you should see the film. It’s a visually inventive, but emotionally uninvolving, sci-fi thriller about a video game developer (Jeff Bridges) who is forced into the world of a computer – a world of gladiatorial games between programs that resemble their human creators. And now, 28 years after the original was released, a sequel – Tron: Legacy – is set to power its way onto the big screen. Here’s the trailer…
The film sees Bridges reprising the role of Kevin Flynn, which he originated in the Eighties film. At the start of Tron: Legacy, Flynn hasn’t been seen for 20 years, so his rebellious 27-year old son (Garrett Hedlund) is thrown when a strange signal, which could only have come from his father, is sent from the old Flynn’s video game arcade. As Sam investigates, he finds himself drawn into the digital world in which his father is trapped – a far more advanced and perilous cyber-landcape than in the original. Will father and son escape? Will the narrative be more engaging this time around? Do you care?
The trailer makes the digital world look stunning – as slick as a barrel full of oil – and some of the set pieces, namely the disc duel and bike race, appear to have been beautifully rendered…
The film's cool appeal will no doubt be strengthened by its score, created by French electronic duo Daft Punk. But will Tron: Legacy prove to be little more than an exercise in style over substance? Or will it amount to a highly-charged reboot of the Tron franchise?
Tron: Legacy is released on 17 December 2010.
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