Film (2010). Walt Disney Pictures presents a Sean Bailey/LivePlanet production. Directed by Joseph Kosinski. Written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz from a story by Kitsis and Horowitz, and Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, based on characters created by Steven Lisberger and Bonnie McBird. Score by Daft Punk. Cast includes Bruce Boxleitner, Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Sheen and Olivia Wilde. 125 minutes. Colour, 3D.
In this real-time sequel to Tron (1982) Jeff Bridges' character has been missing for twenty years while Boxleitner's has been marginalized by the new corporate management; Bridges' maverick Computer-hacker son (Hedlund) discovers him trapped in the Virtual Reality of his Videogame universe by a degenerate digital version of his younger self, and has to surmount a series of perilous challenges in his attempt to escape to the real world, abetted by the last survivor of Bridges' new utopian breed of digital lifeform (Wilde). Disney had been keen to revive and monetize the potential of the Tron property for several years, and numerous scripts and storylines were commissioned before this insipid sequel (on which other, uncredited writers also worked) was rushed into development following the 2008 Writer's Guild of America strike. Its shiny, kinetic 3D digital world is adequately spectacular, and the film performed strongly at the box office, with a sequel in development. Its strongest feature is the real-world scenes, which convey an elegiac nostalgia for the faded ideals of the original hacker generation, their dreams of Transcendent digital utopia long since crushed by besuited corporate plutocrats. Despite the title, Boxleitner and his digital avatar Tron are banished to the periphery, while Cindy Morgan's character from the 1982 film, the actual inventor of the "quantum digitizer" technology, has vanished in the Oedipal stew of Hollywood patriarchal angst. [NL]
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