TRON (1982) Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes Movie Review

TRON (1982)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Jeff Bridges in TRON (1982)

Virtual 80s Reality

Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) was a coding genius but turned his back on the business to run his own video game arcade dabbling in a bit of hacking on the side. The purpose of his hacking is to gain access to the Master Control Program (MCP) at the software company ENCOM as there is a file buried on the system which not only proves that Flynn wrote many of the companies most popular games but will discredit the CEO. It is the CEOs need to keep it buries which leads to two of Flynn's friends and programmers an ENCOM to find their access removed leading to them helping Flynn hack the system. But Flynn finds him drawn in to a series of games with the MCP and having to buddy up with TRON in cyberspace to try and bring MCP down.

I was never one for pirate videos as a teen and can count on one hand the number of dodgy videos I sat through with "TRON" being the first pirate video I watched. It might explain why despite my love of computers from a young age "TRON" never grabbed me, not the story, not the special effects and not the casting which even now doesn't excite me. But it seems I am not alone as whilst "TRON" was made to capitalize on the growing popularity of video arcades a lot of people didn't take to this movie.

The thing is that "TRON" is a simple movie with Kevin digitized into the MCP and forced to take part in a series of games, navigate mazes and avoid the tanks which the MCP sends after him to destroy him whilst he tries to destroy the MCP. It is simple enough and what that really means is that "TRON" is less about whether or not Kevin achieves what he sets out to do but the effects, the graphics and glowing outfits which the actors wear. The thing is that even back in 1982 this all looked quite tacky to me with a more animated look than a CGI one and whilst some of the animation ideas are good it never really draws you into this supposedly computer world.

In truth I have to say that "TRON" was ahead of its time with a concept which actually works a little better now. But also technically what it needed to achieve couldn't be done back in 1982 and is one of the reasons why visually it never worked for me.

What this all boils down to is that "TRON" just never did it for me, never got me going wow or excited by the story let alone the acting which often comes across as awkward. But in truth most of the issues with "TRON" come from technology not being able to do the idea justice back in 1982.