Tron: Legacy Trailer Description and Reaction

I was part of the lucky group of people who were invited to a sneak peek at the first theatrical trailer for Disney’s upcoming Tron: Legacy. The online viral marketing campaign for the film has kicked into high gear in the past two weeks. FlynnLives.com was the first site to pop up, which invited people to scour London, New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Toronto for clues that would reveal the name of a website where intrepid scavengers could register for the screening event.

Tron: Legacy follows Sam Flynn (Garret Hedlund), the son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), who is looking into his father’s mysterious disappearance 25 years ago.  His search leads him to his father’s old haunts and ultimately transports him into the same cyber-universe that his father was once trapped in and now resides. Check out the full trailer description after the jump.

Spoilers to follow.

I’ll break it down into three parts:

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Description of the trailer based on all that I can remember.
What I thought worked.

What I thought didn’t work.

Tron: Legacy Trailer Shot-By-Shot Description

–       Screen opens with the Disney Logo that slowly transitions into the dark blueish Tron logo seen in the previous trailer.

–       We see a far away shot of the Encom Building; view is from the top of the building looking onto a helipad.

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–       We then get a shot of an aged Alan Bradley (played by a returning Bruce Boxleitner) decked out in a full out business suit and trenchcoat speaking to Sam Flynn about his father in what looks like an abandoned warehouse during the day.

–       Alan tells Sam that he knows Sam and many others think that his father is dead because he’s been missing for 30 years, but he promised that if he ever hears any news about Kevin Flynn he would let Sam know immediately.

–       Alan says that he received a call from a number originating from Flynn’s Arcade the night before and Sam brushes it off. Alan states that no one has stepped foot in that building in over 23 years; Alan says he believes that was Kevin trying to get in touch with the world but more specifically Sam

–       Sam is reluctant to listen and states something along the lines of why would he want to speak to his father and what would he say in a pissed off manner.

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–       Alan gives him the keys to the arcade and tells him to just go and find the answers for closure.

–       The next bunch of shots are in the real world but its Sam on a motorbike gunning through traffic on a highway and even taking a jump off an exit ramp going towards the arcade.

–       The arcade is the same as it was before and when Sam enters its covered with dust surrounding machines covered in plastic.

–       He turns on the power and hits the lights that lead him to the Tron machine at the back wall; he basically says something along the lines of “Here goes nothing” and puts a quarter in but it falls out onto the ground to reveal grooves on the floor like there is a hidden door.

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–       The next shot is the Tron machine slowly turning to reveal a door and then shutting behind Sam; it leads him into a dusty room with a computer desk.

–       Sam sees a dusty touch screen monitor that has a bunch of computer language on it and removes the dust; the computer isn’t frozen but working at an alarming rate.

–       The next shot is from behind Sam showing the same machine that derezzed his father from the first film and its powering up.  Screen goes blank.

–       The next series of shots are all done from inside the cyber-universe:

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–      Starts off with an awesome shot of a Recognizer (Big floating robot from the first movie that fly around trying to crush things); its an updated version of the machine landing on a platform in the rain with three people awaiting it.

–      We see a shot of Sam in what looks like the observation tower of an arena looking down with an audience around him; he’s in a Tron suit now.

–      Light cycle going full blast on that bridge from the teaser into the city.

–      A shot of Olivia Wilde in a black suit lying down on a couch.

–      An updated disc battle in which the fighting looks like its done in a squash court type setting; it’s within a closed off room that is clear all over and surrounded by a huge audience.

–      A quick shot of actor Michael Sheen with a white slicked back mohawak with two robots behind him (I thought about it and maybe it was Daft Punk).

–      Actor James Frain comes from an elevated platform in a yellow suit followed by two unknowns in red suits.

–      More shots of the disc battling; One guy is evening tossing duel discs.

–      Followed some blonde lady in a white suit walking towards the screen.

–      More light cycles battling it out.

–      At this point, you can hear (not see) Kevin Flynn talking but it sounds simlair to that of the Master Control Program from the first movie. He says something along the lines of “It’s been a long time… Good to finally see you.”

–      We see the shot of Sam walking in his suit towards a big beam of light (like the picture above) while his father is talking.

–      Quickly see a digitized version of Jeff Bridges eyes like from the teaser and then into the title Tron: Legacy and a release date dropping into blackness.

–       The ending shot is Sam Flynn on a light cycle battling it out with a red cycle going in a straight line side by side like the first film; this immediately breaks into the next scene by which you see Sam powerslide  his bike and create a curved light wall.

–       The red cycle can’t take the turn quick enough and flies into it exploding and derezzing (The camera angle is from the front of Sam’s bike looking at him smiling with relief).

What I thought worked:

The music was very dark and had a great beat to it.  It wasn’t a slow beat, but it was very deep and had a digital feel. I can’t wait to hear more from it.

Imagery and colors were intense. The real world looked very light and promising, but you were totally aware of the cyber-world. Very deep blue and greenish-grey colors paint the screen with great shadowing off the lights of the buildings and the suits.  The shot of the Recognizer landing on the rainy platform was about 10x more vibrant in color and it showed.

Acting was pretty solid. The only serious acting was from Boxleitner and Hedland, but I remember hearing from people around me saying that Hedlund was solid. He didn’t come off as cheesy.

Pacing of the trailer: Very intense.  The cyber-world has clearly updated itself from previous incarnation and as a result is much more deadly. You got the impression that survivial is an every day battle there. If the film experience is anything like how I felt after watching the trailer, its going to great.

The trailer was in 3-D and it looked amazing. I can’t imagine seeing this movie any other way now.

What I thought didn’t work:

Camera angles were really weird at some points. For example when Sam and Alan are speaking, the camera went from high up in the rafters to below their waist in the next shot.  Another instance was when we see Sam in the disc battle getting ready, a couple shots felt like a four foot tall person looking up at action from a 45 degree angle.  It happened enough for me to notice and make it a point to state.

The trailer focused totally on Sam Flynn. We had no shots of CLU 2 from the previous trailer or even Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, other than recycled eye shot from the teaser. I wanted to see  shots of Bridges looking down at CLU 2, similiar to the official still that was released a few weeks back.

The Real World Marketing: I feel bad for the people who showed up two hours before for the screening. I showed up roughly thirty minutes before and managed to get great seats. It was internet speculation that the event would be either a) The trailer, plus 10 minutes of actual footage (as some people found out the IMAX screens were rented out for 20 minutes) or b) The trailer plus the original film remastered in 3-D.  To add insult to injury, they didn’t even show the trailer twice!  It was played and then we were cleared out of the cinema to be given a “FLYNN LIVES” shirt.  Many left upset and were colourfully vocal about it.

I was not complaining. I was very happy to see this trailer; it made me an instant fanboy, plus the t-shirt has definitely upped my dork rep. I can’t wait for the trailer to go online, I’m sure I’ll watch it many more times. Seriously, you’ll be blown away when you see this movie in action.

Tron: Legacy is out in December 17th 2010.

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