It’s not every day Belfast moviegoers are treated to a world exclusive event on the film calendar, but on October 28th 2010, a select few – including myself – had the chance to sample over 20 minutes of Disney’s upcoming sci-fi extravaganza, Tron: Legacy in 3D.
After a short introduction by a rep from Disney, the film opened with a short message from the film’s director, Joseph Kosinski, then launched into – what I imagine is – part of the film’s opening scene involving Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) and – an old character from the original Tron – Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner). Not much of the film’s true potential was exploited during in these moments and indeed it wasn’t even shown in 3D but nevertheless it did set a dark and mature tone for what was to come, as we see Sam entering his father’s old games arcade, looking no different to how it was presented in the early 80s.
From here we see Sam whisked away into the world of Tron, or ‘The Grid’ as it is often known as. In the next scene the leading protagonist is taken captive by some guards and flown to a detention centre in one of the command ships seen in the original film – and updated to quite amazing effect. From this Sam gets suited and booted into the typical Tron gear and forced to battle in the games, in a gladiator-esque arena, sparking a visually glorious fight scene which completely blew me away.
The third and, unfortunately, final scene the audience were given a taster of was one of the highly anticipated lightcycle chases Tron is probably most famous for. Due to the crashing and derezzing debris scattering all over the screen, the frantic and brilliantly realised action really showed off the true potential of 3D. Something, in my honest opinion, even James Cameron’s Avatar failed to do last year. The chase climaxed with Sam finally meeting his estranged father, and hero of the original film, Kevin Flynn (the legendary Jeff Bridges) for the first time in nearly 20 years. Despite all the spectacular special effects being shown off during the film’s preview, this scene also demonstrated that Tron: Legacy has a deeper and more emotional side which is sure to add weight to the overall story.
To finish off, the display closed with the video to Daft Punk’s latest single – taken from the film’s soundtrack – Derezzed, which spoiled the audience further of what is to come when Tron: Legacy hits our shores in mid December.
From those 20+ minutes, it was clear Disney have truly invested a lot of time and care into this long awaited sequel. The world Joseph Kosinski has created is imaginative, dark, brooding and not totally out removed from the world of The Matrix. What really got me however was the sheer scale of the feature, undeniably epic in proportions – and despite its mind bending Stanley Kubrick-esque moments, it looks like it’s also set to be a heck of a lot of fun also.
It’s hard to really pick apart what was essentially a glorified, extended version of the footage we have already seen in the previous two trailers so we’ll leave the nit-picking for now. My only real complaint? It was only 20 minutes! I’m on my hands and knees begging to see this film in its entirety now. This was something really special.
Tron: Legacy will be released worldwide December 17th 2010 - along with my full review.