It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
To the sad story of a father who was trapped inside a snowman for the winter ("Jack Frost"), we must now add "Tron: Legacy," where the father has been trapped inside a software program for 20 years. Yes, young Sam Flynn has grown up an orphan because his dad was seduced and abducted by a video game. Now a call comes for the young hero to join his old dad in throwing virtual Frisbees at the evil programs threatening that digital world.
This is a movie well beyond the possibility of logical explanation. Since the Tron universe exists entirely within chips, don't bother yourself about where the physical body of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has been for the last two decades; it must surely have been somewhere, because we can see that it has aged. The solution I suppose is that this is a virtual world and it can do anything it feels like, but how exactly does a flesh-and-blood 20-year-old get inside it? And what does he eat?
Joseph Kosinski's "Tron: Legacy" steps nimbly over such obstacles and hits the ground running, in a 3-D sound-and light show that plays to the eyes and ears more than the mind. Among its real-world technology is a performance by Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn at two different ages — now, and 20 years ago. The original "Tron" was made 28 years ago, but that would have made young Sam Flynn, his son, nearly 30, which is too old for the hero in a story of this sort. The ideal age would be around 12.
In a flashback, we see Kevin, lord of a mighty software corporation, taking leave of his son as a child. At first, you think Jeff Bridges looks younger in this scene because of makeup or Botox or something, and then you realize this is Bridges' body and voice but his face has been rendered younger by special effects. They're uncanny. The use of profiles and backlighting makes the illusion adequate for this purpose. The real Bridges turns up later inside the program, whiskery and weathered, but the CGI version of younger Jeff sticks around to play Clu, a digital doppelganger he created, who now desires (you know this is coming) to control the world.