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Tron Day: A look at the upcoming Tron: Legacy

Feature; Nov. 2, 2010; Channels: Video Games; By Kyle James Hovanec
Subtypes: Column
The most epic video game movie ever may only be a few months away

On Oct. 28, all across the country, Disney hosted an event called Tron Day to promote its upcoming movie Tron: Legacy. On this day, people who signed up to receive a special invitation were allowed to see 23 minutes of footage from the upcoming movie in IMAX 3-D. This was the first time anyone outside of the film would be allowed to see these scenes. Similar to last year’s Avatar Day, the footage was meant to be long teaser trailer, and hopefully gain the audience’s attention and anticipation for the release date Dec. 17.

The footage shown did not reveal any new information on the plot of Tron: Legacy beyond what is already known through the trailers and promotional materials. The first scene shown was main character Sam Flynn, son of Kevin Flynn (the hero from the first Tron), talking to Alan Bradley, the head of the software company Encom. The scene plays out very similar to the trailers. Alan talks to Sam about his dad’s disappearance and hands him the keys to Kevin’s old arcade. Alan claims he received a page from Kevin’s arcade, despite being closed down for years. Sam takes Alan’s offer and decides to investigate.

The next scene has Sam entering the arcade. After searching around the place and finding a secret room, Sam accesses his father’s old computer and is suddenly sucked into the world of the Grid. It was interesting to note that these first two scenes were shown in 2-D rather than 3-D. It isn’t until Sam actually enters the virtual world when the 3-D images start to occur.

The remaining scenes are various action bits of Sam inside the grid. Here we see Sam get his neon glowing bodysuit, participate in disc combat with some stunning 3-D work as discs ricochet around the screen and toward the audience. Sam runs into some of the enemies of the grid, including some classic vehicles like the light cycles and recognizers, and meets up with the new heroes, the stunning Quorra and his own father, an aged Kevin Flynn. The preview ended with a small montage of more action scenes and the release date.

It was hard to get a handle on the story of Tron: Legacy, but telling the story was not the purpose of Tron Day. The purpose was to show off the world of Tron, to introduce the characters and give a good example of the 3-D being used. Based on this, it’s safe to say that Disney has a potential hit on its  hands. The CGI was fantastic, with dark blacks and neon blues making up the environment. The 3-D was clean, clear, and more important, easy to follow. I saw no signs of “ghosting” images or blurry objects found in a lot of 3-D films. Finally, the main character Sam Flynn seems like a genuinely likeable character. He’s a bit of a tough guy loner, but at the same time, has a sense of charm. He’s searching for his father, and is willing to go through a dangerous world to find him. There’s a scene later on in the preview which is genuinely touching, a reunion between Kevin and Sam, father and son. It seemed sincere and full of emotion, something very much absent in most blockbuster CGI-laden flicks.

Tron: Legacy looks to be both a visual feast for the eyes and an exciting science fiction tale for fans of the original and new viewers as well. It’s difficult to tell if this will be the next Avatar or a box office flop, but hopefully Tron Day helped spread the good word: This is a movie worth looking out for. 

Dec. 17 can’t come soon enough. The small tasting wasn’t enough -- I’m ready to enter the grid once more.

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