The long-awaited sequel to 1982's "TRON" makes the original movie's innovative technology look old-school Atari by comparison -- a good thing for fans of sleek, modern upgrades.
In "TRON: Legacy," on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3-D today, Jeff Bridges returns as Kevin Flynn, the genius software engineer and CEO of ENCOM International, who we learn disappeared in 1989. Twenty years later, Flynn's son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), is ENCOM's controlling shareholder but takes little interest in his dad's business until ENCOM executive Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) urges Sam to investigate a page from his father's old arcade. It is there that Sam is transported to the Grid—a virtual world inside the computer—and the 3-D neon fun begins.
The Grid has changed a lot since the original "TRON" -- it is now an inky-black, minimalistic wonderland of glass illuminated by neon lights and punctuated by the electronic grooves of Daft Punk (who make a cameo in the film's club scene)—and Sam is immediately captured there by the computer world's drones and forced to participate in deadly games with other programs. He meets Clu—the program alter-ego of his father that is played by a reverse-aged Bridges—and escapes via light cycle to the off-grid Outlands with the help of Quorra (Olivia Wilde), a sentient "isomorphic algorithm" who demonstrates just how sexy math can be.
Quorra reunites Sam with his father, who has been trapped in the Grid for all these years and living in isolation. Father and son hatch a plan to access the portal and escape back into the real world, but Clu wants Kevin's all-important identity disc to escape himself. Their ultimate fate lies with TRON (a reverse-aged Boxleitner), the original security program created by Alan, whose current loyalties are unknown.
You can pick up "TRON: Legacy" individually on DVD, Blu-ray or Blu-ray 3-D as well as bundled with the original "TRON," which makes its high-definition debut in the two-movie collection. If you have the setup, the 3-D version is the way to go because it is easily the best-looking Blu-ray 3-D out there for mass consumption—the depth in the screen is impressive as light cycles race and crash into shards of glass that pop out of the TV at you. The computerized reverse-aging effect done on Bridges and Boxleitner is revolutionary and will surely be used (and misused?) by filmmakers for years to come.
Although the simple story of a son struggling to reunite with his father is nothing new, Bridges and Hedlund make their connection seem touchingly real in the synthetic surroundings. Check out the extras for hints at what might come next if a sequel happens. Hopefully we won't have to wait another 28 years to get our "TRON" on.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray versions have a sneak peek at the upcoming animated series "TRON: Uprising" as well as "Visualizing 'TRON'" and "Installing the Cast." The real treats are exclusive to the BD, including "The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed," which features key cast members and shows what happened in the days following the conclusion of "TRON: Legacy," as well as "Launching the Legacy" and the "Derezzed" music video by Daft Punk.