I was 9 when Tron came out. I never saw it in theaters, but Lord knows I played the game enough to fund the sequel. With the sequel coming out, I wanted to watch it, and show it to my boys, but they actually saw it before I did. I remember this one always being called before its time, and using a lot of computers to make the movie- almost like Pixar would with Toy Story many years later. I don’t think in 1982 many people knew computers, or even knew what a “Tron” was. I wonder if the new movie will have a rapping segment with someone called “Visual J” in it? So lets get to the movie.
Jeff Bridges runs an Arcade after getting canned from his game designing job at ENCOM, but he knows that a co-worker, Dillinger, stole his ideas, and used it to get him fired and to get promoted in the company. Its now working on Artificial Intelligence for the government, and yeah- an anti virus program, but its not really called that. The Program is called MCP, and its talking back to Dillinger, and saying MCP is going to do what it wants, and if he’s not allowed to, he will expose Dillinger’s theft. MCP is given access, and it starts kicking other programmers out of level 7 clearance and starts making what today we would call SKYNET. Seriously.
Jeff Bridges ex-girlfriend and her new Bo, Alan, come over to warn Bridges that his hacking is getting attention, and he says he is just trying to get evidence about the theft, for some reason, they let him talk them into getting him into the mainframe one more time. A “Lazer” that is able to teleport things gets taken over by MCP and used to transport Bridges into the computer world, where he tries to survive, and help Tron stop MCP.
So how is it?
The graphics are nice, for the time, it can be a bit confusing with the good guys being blue and the bad guys being red, then somehow Yellow gets involved- during the light-cycle. The Parts that work REALLY do work, but parts of them DRAG. The ending is a bit sudden, and I do wish we had more stuff going on. There is an EXTENDED bit in the middle that just goes on forever, I wonder if it was a money-saving bit on a sound stage. I think its worth seeing if you are of a certain age, but for people under the age of say . . . 25? Might not be worth it. Again, it has good parts, so I’m gonna give it a 3 just for the nostalgia in me, and if I found it on the 99 cent rack I think I’d buy it, but I can’t see me pulling it off my DVD shelf and throwing it in unless there was a commentary track. If you do watch it, give yourself a point if you see Micky and double points if you see Pac-Man. Now use those points and GO PLAY THE GAME! I always dominated the Tank and
the part where you beat the MCD, I stunk on the Light Cycle after about 5-6 times through and hated the spider level.
Was there supposed to be a love triangle? Does anyone care about the Human World? I mean the screenwriters didn’t so why should I?
How come Jeff Bridges can move things in the computer, but he only uses this power once, and once his machine gets busted up, why doesn’t he just repair it? Since its all code anyway? How does he not make himself into a tank? He did play the tank game like a BOSS, didn’t he? Plus for what its worth, why not jump the light cycle to the in/out processor.
Maybe it was me, but didn’t the computer world seem a bit monochromatic to you? Like everything was dropped down on the grey scale? Being PCs I would expect it to be brighter. Again, it might have been an expense issue, but MAN did it seem like things were dull.
How does stealing a game make you a VP? The bad guy was into MILITARY CONTRACTS, I bet those pay a bit more than making a third rate version of COMBAT. Lets keep in mind that General Dynamics is still making money hand over fist, Atari and SEGA? Not so much.
The final battle is kind of anti-climatic. Scroll back up to the top, does that scare you? The Blue Folk look all humanistic and normal, just with the blue coating. The Red guys look stiff and almost look like Go-Bots. I do look at that MCD, and it tends to go down fairly quickly.
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