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and the cre­ation of an Oz-like dig­i­tal world called the Grid. Flynn dashes to the of­fice for a few hours, only to dis­ap­pear with­out a trace. Now it’s 2010, and an­gry or­phaned Sam has grown up to be a reck­less mo­tor­cy­cle-rid­ing rebel who would rather steal from his fa­ther’s com­pany than helm it. One night, at the be­hest of dad’s pal Alan (Boxleit­ner), Sam re­vis­its Flynn’s old arcade hang­out and ends up get­ting zapped into the Grid. There he dis­cov­ers that his fa­ther’s evil dop­pel­gänger, Clu (Bridges again, makeup and com­puter ef­fects creep­ily eras­ing 20 years from his face), has cre­ated a fas­cist dig­i­tal em­pire where cit­i­zens are forced to en­ter­tain each other, glad­i­a­tor style, in games of deadly e-Fris­bee. Mean­while, the “real,” old, bearded Flynn is hid­ing out in a chic min­i­mal­ist apart­ment with his gor­geous elec­tronic com­pan­ion-ap­pren­tice, Quorra (Olivia Wilde), hop­ing to over­throw Clu and find a way home.

While Legacy may be on the cut­ting edge when it comes to ef­fects, it cribs from Star Wars, The Ma­trix, Blade Run­ner, and oth­ers, and its story is as old as the hills. Be­yond the flashy ac­tion, snazzy weapons and ve­hi­cles, video-game styling, and skin-tight body suits, it’s just an­other bland myth ham-hand­edly de­liv­er­ing mes­sages about fam­ily bond­ing and the dangers of am­bi­tion and progress (strange for a film that re­lies so heav­ily on technology, no?). Eight peo­ple get writ­ing cred­its for Legacy. Maybe they cooked up the story of the fa­ther-son con­flict and Flynn’s evil twin to lend the movie some depth, but I’m not sure they needed to bother.

Though I’ll ad­mit that I found the film’s use of 3-D un­der­whelm­ing, the spe­cial-ef­fects depart­ment will surely garner a few nods come awards sea­son. Bridges, on the other hand, won’t win any Os­cars for this per­for­mance, al­though he cer­tainly looks as if he was hav­ing fun. Flynn comes across like the love child of Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Dude from The Big Le­bowski: he “doesn’t dig im­per­fec­tion” and says things like “You’re mess­ing with my Zen thing, man.” Michael Sheen ( Frost/Nixon) is de­li­ciously flam­boy­ant as Zuse/Cas­tor, a pow­er­ful night­club owner. Wilde plays Quorra as a sweet, off­beat badass; her killer bob is bound to ig­nite a trend. Hed­lund, un­for­tu­nately, just gets lost amid the scenery.

Ac­cord­ing to first-time di­rec­tor Joseph Kosin­ski, French techno-mu­sic duo Daft Punk “blended clas­sic or­ches­tral themes with an elec­tronic min­i­mal­ism” in their fun, pow­er­ful, puls­ing score (the mu­si­cians also make a cameo as the house DJs in Zuse’s club). They add scary tubas and bass trom­bones for some se­quences that will re­mind you of the score from In­cep­tion; and you’ll hear echoes of Aaron Co­p­land’s Fan­fare for the Com­mon Man at other mo­ments. But the techno beats pre­vail — Legacy would make a fan­tas­tic ex­tended Daft Punk video.

The nit­pick­ing part of my brain even­tu­ally started won­der­ing, what are the rules of the Grid? If this is a dig­i­tal uni­verse, how does Sam breathe? If a “per­son” shat­ters into bytes when he or she dies there, why does Sam bleed? How — or maybe why — does Flynn have an an­tique book col­lec­tion and feast on roast suck­ling pig? What does gib­ber­ish like “a dig­i­tal fron­tier to re­shape the hu­man con­di­tion” mean? Even­tu­ally, though, I de­cided to re­lax. Legacy is much more fun if you let the de­tails slide, sit back, and en­joy the ride.

The lastest technology, the hoari­est story: TRON: Legacy

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