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TRON, 1982
Movie Review

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TRON,  MOVIE POSTERTRON, 1982
Movie Reviews

Directed by: Steven Lisberger

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes, Dan Shor
Review by Jarred Thomas


SYNOPSIS:

A hacker is literally abducted into the world of a computer and forced to participate in gladiatorial games where his only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program.

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REVIEW:

Considered one of the most visually groundbreaking films of its time, Tron is a visually compelling and original film from Disney that transports you to a cyber gladiatorial world that at first appears only as a game, but one that quickly becomes a game of life and death. While the story is a bit convoluted and hard to follow, the visuals alone keep you captivated, topped off with engaging action sequences. Jeff Bridges leads the cast.

As the story goes, Dillnger steals the programs from a young video game programmer named Kevin Flynn and sold Flynnís as though they were his own. Initially taking all the credit and becoming the CEO of ENCOM, the company both work for. Meanwhile Flynn is cast out and forced to work at an arcade, which were everywhere in the 80ís far more than they are today.

However, Flynn plans on getting the information he needs to expose Dillnger as a thief. He enlists the help of Alan and his girlfriend, Dr. Lora Baines. They both warn Flynn that Dillnger is aware of his activities but Flynn convinces them to sneak him into ENCOM's laser laboratory, where he can forge access to a different security group and find the evidence he needs against Dillinger. There is a lot of technological computer jargon in between that goes over your head, but thatís okay, they get to the cool stuff soon.

Lora, who has been developing a method of digitizing real objects into the computer and uses her machine to digitize Flynn. As Flynn attempts to break into the system, he is confronted by the Master Control Program or MCP, who takes control of the laser and suddenly digitizes Flynn into the ENCOM mainframe. Now Flynn finds himself standing in the digital world, where Programs resemble their human creators, the Users.

The details of the story are a bit hard to follow, but it doesnít seem that people really watch this film to be blown away by great storytelling. Like Avatar, people are really only interested in the visuals rather than who did what to whom. But thereís enough of a coherent plot where youíre not entirely lost.

For some, Tron may get a little hard to watch as the computer graphics are only compromised of a blue screen with various colors here and there. By todayís standards thereís not much to admire and a new generation may not even get the appeal. But for those who grew up watching Tron, or were even there in the theaters at the time of its release, there was a lot to admire.

Tron is not a great film. But itís certainly one that set the standard on what computer graphics can do when used correctly. It paved the way for others to follow and was also the first to create a world entirely built on computer animation, and you know what, it worked. The characters blend in perfectly when simulated into the game world and the game world itself feels like it has its own zip code.

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