Zapped into a deadly digital world in the original - before escaping and becoming a billionaire video game mogul - Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has once again vanished leaving his embittered son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) to grow up alone.
When Kevin's colleague Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) reveals that he's received a page from the missing boffin's disused game arcade, Sam investigates, only to be dragged into his dad's digital domain, The Grid. Captured by his father's rogue program CLU (also Bridges), Sam survives the digital dictator's gladiatorial games - cue beefed-up light cycles and throwing disc battles - and escapes to meets up with his dad who, thanks to CLU, has been trapped in The Grid for 20 years.
Assisted by alluring program Quorra (Olivia Wilde), the two set out to find a way home, pursued by the devious CLU, who plans to follow them into the real world with devastating consequences for mankind.
In an industry where unnecessary sequels and cash-in remakes thrive, it's refreshing to see Disney take a chance on reviving a property that failed to reach its box office potential. While the original Tron's fledgling CG effects were impressive for the time, this belated follow-up trumps it with an emotionally resonant story and visuals so astonishing they'll be permanently lasered onto your frontal lobes.
Directed by first-timer Joseph Kosinski, Legacy is an audacious piece of audiovisual art that takes viewers on a roller coaster ride for the senses. Although some of the plot is a little fuzzy - particularly the quasi-religious aspects - the quaint premise that was spread a little thin in the original is backed up here with such artistry that becoming immersed in The Grid is inevitable.
Fittingly, Legacy is not overwhelmed by its own technical brilliance, the human heart that beats beneath its polished chrome veneer being felt even over Daft Punk's evocative score.
Reprising his original role, Bridges expertly evolves his carefree hacker into a world-weary sage, yet still exhibits flashes of the old Flynn spark. As CLU he's also impressive, although the digital facelift that takes 20 years off him can be a little distracting.
The real revelation is the gruff-and-ready Hedlund, who engagingly fulfils his duties as the hero while bringing real emotional weight to the film's father/son relationship.
A unique movie-going experience that puts most theme park rides to shame, Tron: Legacy delivers an astonishing adventure of unparalleled visual and sonic splendour.