Full Review: Tron can only be described as the total 80s Computing fanboy’s dream. This Cult classic was directed by Steven Lisberger and became an instant sensation to nerds everywhere. Although a moderate success at the box office, Tron won multiple awards for its stunning and revolutionary visual effects and style. Growing up, Tron always seemed to me like one of the coolest movies ever made. I would just sit there watching and think about how they managed to make all the cool effects and vehicles. This film made a statement about computing,
technology, and the rise of gaming. Even today, Tron is an icon for how gaming goes beyond just some pixels on a screen, although not quite in the same way.
The story follows a software engineer named Kevin Flynn, who after years developing new unique games, has all his work stolen from him by a colleague, who uses them to gain multiple promotions at their place of work. Flynn leaves the company, and splits his time from running his arcade to trying to hack into his former company, ENCOM’s computer system to find proof of his colleague’s theft. Due to the Artificial intelligence created by the thief to protect ENCOM’s servers, all hacking attempts fail, and security is stepped up. The power hungry AI begins taking over government servers and makes plans to expand to encompass both the pentagon and the Kremlin. Another ENCOM engineer, Alan Bradley, has developed a security program named TRON which can target and delete any program, once it’s gotten past the firewall. Bradley, along with Flynn’s ex-girlfriend who also works at ENCOM, convince Flynn to help them get TRON into the system, by sneaking Flynn inside to work his magic on TRON’s security clearance. While inside, the MCP uses an experimental laser technology to digitalise Flynn whilst he works, pulling him into the computer’s server known as “The Grid” where he finds different programs which appear as their creators in a world of bright lines of light. It’s here Flynn must escape “the games” With the help of Tron and defeat the MCP whilst finding the evidence he needs to gain his reputation back.
This movie has a fun and exciting cast of characters, with the great Jeff Bridges playing the lead role of Kevin Flynn. His performance as the smart yet funny troublemaker make the movie that much better when paired with the brave yet statistical Tron played by Bruce Boxleitner. These characters make the best use of the colorful and unique set, and using their imaginations, allow the limitless possibilities of green screen to improve their performances. Bridges performance in this film no doubt highlighted his ability as an actor and helped skyrocket his career with future opportunities. Boxleitner also gained quite a boost, and the two would reprise their iconic roles in the sequel many years later.
The world of Tron is absolutely breathtaking when compared to the other movies of the time. Many people have tried to imagine the world inside the computer, but Tron, to this day, has to be the most iconic look for the digital space. Every time I think of what that world must seem like, I instinctively see the long diverging white lines that make up the buildings and shapes inside Tron’s “Grid”
The performances are great, the visuals are great, but the story over all is nothing to write home about. It’s good writing and is definitely worth watching, but for those who aren’t particularly good at following multiple plot points at once may have a hard time keeping a coherent grasp on the story. Its because of this, as well as the odd fast-to-slow-to-fast-to-slow pacing of the film, that it didn’t do as well as it could. Tron was a movie which was revolutionary for its production value, not so much for its credibility as a story to be told. I still recommend it to anybody who wishes to feel some nostalgia about the early days of gaming and the PC revolution.
Final Score: 7/10