Feature: Impressions Of The ‘Tron Night’ Exclusive Preview Event
Read our detailed impressions of the mega event and the exclusive footage unveiled from ‘Tron Legacy’.
One thing I always found UAE lacking in was movie studios shying out of massively promoting their movies virally here, which disappointed me. So imagine my excitement when I got the e-mail about ‘Tron Night’ at Reel Cinemas, an exclusive event where not only fans will get a chance to play the Tron: Evolution 3-D game and check out other merchandise such as the Tron-themed Nokia N-8 and audio equipment, but also get to see 23 minutes of exclusive footage from ‘Tron Legacy’ which opens in December. And after returning from the event, here are my impressions of the sneak peek.
As audiences creeped into their seats, we were told by a host about the technical achievements of ‘Tron Legacy’ and also the fact that it will be the closing gala premiere at DIFF this year, which is a great thing to know. It was then that the 23 minutes extended sneak peek began.
Read all about it below.
We were treated to the first scene labelled ‘Scene 20 – Sam’s Apartment’. I thought the idea of giving us the scene numbers wasn’t a great one since it spoils the movie too early for us, but never mind. As the scene began, Sam enters his apartment to be greeted by Alan and they talk about how the company (presumably Encom from the first movie) is doing great without Sam after his father disappeared. They then talk about the fact that Alan received a pager last night from Sam’s father Kevin Flynn and it was from the arcade. This was basically an extended version of the scene from the first teaser trailer as Sam heads to check out the arcade. At this point, I slowly realized that my 3-D glasses are doing no good other than dimming the image. Turns out the first parts of the movie are shot in 2-D and only when he enters the game does the movie embrace 3-D completely. The scene isn’t too well written and plods with some hammy acting by newcomer Garrett Hudland so it wasn’t the greatest start.
We then move on to Sam entering the arcade and checking it out and here lie many references to the original movie. As Sam moves around the deserted arcade, he finds an opening and heads into a room with an old computer giving him the opportunity to activate some kind of laser. As he does so, a sound from behind him rises and we cut to black. Keep in mind that the movie is still 2-D at this point. Also keep in mind that it all rises drastically from here.
The next scene is titled ‘Recognizer Capture’ and is one of the most overwhelming and thrilling moments of the preview. As Sam suddenly finds himself inside the game, he is captured by guards and put around a number of other captured programs and is being flown away. As a guard approaches, he assigned each one of them to a specific activity. Sam gets assigned to a mysterious category called ‘Games’. He is then brought down lower where a group of siren ladies dress him up with a disc and a new lightsuit for battle as Sam remains confused as ever.
‘Disc Wars’ is what the next scenes titled, and stands as not only the highlight of the preview but one of the most visually thrilling and awe-inspiring sequences I have ever scene. Sam is now put into an arena with opponents surrounding him. With no idea what to do, the opponent suddenly arms himself with a disc and throws it at Sam which Sam dodges. The disc bounces around the room and returns to the opponent. What follows is a battle that cannot be described by mere words and has some of the most vivid and breathtaking special effects in a movie. The direction is superb and the action flows fluidly. If this scene alone doesn’t sell you on the movie, nothing will.
After that thrilling match, the next scene is titled ‘Escape Route’ and follows Sam in a Light Runner along with Korra (Olivia Wilde) trying to outrun others chasing them. Korra shows off the awesomeness of the vehicle and escapes her way out of the situation with some very cool-looking trickery. This is the first time we see Olivia Wilde speak clearly, and she does not disappoint. This scene is most reminiscent of the trailer moments and manages to thrill.
The final scene we are treated to is a much quieter one titled ‘Safehouse’. As Sam and Korra enter a safehouse, she leads him towards a mysterious person facing the opposite side. Turns out it is Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) stuck inside the game since years. He’s old and weak but is very happy and emotional to see his son after so long. It’s a touching moment that doesn’t excel too much in writing but the Bridges makes it work very well. What follows is basically an exposition dump as Flynn reaches the end and watches his created world in an eerie fashion.
Finally, we get a montage of a number of small sequences from the movie including the appearance of Michael Sheen and the cameo by Daft Punk themselves, some of the final battle and a look at the younger CGI Jeff Bridges we’ve been waiting for. It then ends with a title card followed by a huge audience applause.
Our thoughts? ‘Tron Legacy’ aimed to impress with this footage and has very much succeeded in doing so. The visuals is what this movie is selling itself on and there is no doubt that the wizardry here easily rivals ‘Avatar’ and provides a whole new world to the audience that looks spectacular. The direction is amazing in the action sequences and the editing is fluid. But will this have any depth as far as storytelling is concerned? The early scenes did not impress me in that regard, but there’s an underlying theme of father and son issues here that I’m sure will be touched upon in the movie and makes for some emotional stakes that are required to elevate a movie above a mindless shallow visual ride.
In short, I’m sold. And come December 17th, you will be too.