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'Tron' is visually stunning, but lacks surprises Jeri Jacquin | Fri, Dec 17 2010 06:14 PM

Opening in theaters this Friday is the highly anticipated return to Flynn’s Arcade with director Joseph Kosinski and Disney’s “Tron: Legacy.”

This film tells the story of Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), the now grown son of  vanished CEO and game creator Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges). Living the wanderer’s life, Sam continues his father’s technology work in unorthodox ways.

One night, his father’s partner, Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner), gets a message from Flynn’s Arcade. Sam goes to visit the arcade that’s been abandoned since 1982. Soon he discovers his father’s workroom and through a keystroke Sam is inside the grid.

There he meets Clu (Jeff Bridges — sort of) and Sam discovers that Clu has taken over the grid from his father. With the help of Quorra (Olivia Wilde), Sam must find his father and escape the grid before Clu can wreak havoc outside the grid.

Final word: Hedlund as Flynn does a fine job of portraying the young computer genius. He has the attitude of his “father” that the original “Tron” watchers will appreciate. There were nice action scenes and he played them out well.

Wilde was equally energetic as Quorra. There are intense fight scenes where, even in heels, she managed to hold her own. My big thrill was seeing Michael Sheen as the flamboyant, cane-twirling master of words Castor/Zuse. He is freakishly delightful in this role.

Now,  all that being said, the story is very predictable, there are no surprises, shocks or moments of “Luke, I am your father,” or anything of the sort. The story is what it is. At the same time it is visually fun to watch. The graphics are very cool and, without spoiling anything, a double dose of Jeff took some getting used to.

I have no doubt this will be a blockbuster weekend for original “Tron” lovers and a whole slew of newcomers to the franchise. There are bound to be some awards for the special effects and the music by Daft Punk was right in with the action.

Tubs of popcorn: I give “Tron: Legacy” three-and-a-half tubs of popcorn out of five. This film is a visual treat as it will be playing in Real 3-D. It is not necessary to have seen the first film to keep up with the story but it would be a fun way to introduce the family to who and how Tron came to be.

In 1982 when the original “Tron” was released, it instantly became a cult classic with its appealing video game look. Who could have foreseen that the world created by writer Steven Lisberger would come full circle with even greater graphics in a still growing video world.

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