I'm not quite sure what I expected when walking into Joseph Kosinski's "Tron: Legacy" but it exceeded and effectively wrestled my expectations into submission. This is one trippy, great movie, made all the more interesting by a string of weirdo performances and a go-for-broke visual scheme that enthralled me from the beginning. I've long been a resistant force to the power of CGI, but "Tron: Legacy" elevates effects and the green screen to such an eye-popping pinnacle that I fully bought into the visual pizazz and connected with the characters on a basic emotional level. For a blockbuster of this type, that's saying something special.
Kosinski and cinematographer Claudio Miranda take a post-punk electro design style and mix it fashionably into a revolving world of neon colored suits, sterile Kubrickian sets and a multi-layered 3D world that continually fascinates. But all these dynamic visuals wouldn't be more than candy coloring if it weren't for the performances of Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde, Garrett Hedlund and (especially) Martin Sheen providing a beating heart underneath the technological effects. This is Disney yes, but "Tron: Legacy" maintains a perverse streak in the way the camera frames Wilde seductively posing on a couch or Martin Sheen hamming it up as some sort of carnival ringleader named Zeus. This is erotic and esoteric stuff for a modern blockbuster. And finally my praises will end with this: give Daft Punk the Oscar for original score now. I tip my hat to Trent Reznor for similarly unique and inventive compositions, but the electronic, propulsive score by Daft Punk, part Tangerine Dream and part techno rave, deserve the credit for amping up the film's action and matching its breathless visuals to a terrific sound.