One line review: What once was a technological marvel has little to offer to the modern viewer.
Movie Title: Tron
Actors: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes, Dan Shor, Peter Jurasik, Tony Stephano
Director: Steven Lisberger
Genre: Action / Adventure
Method of Viewing: DVD
Location of Viewing: Home
Viewing with: No One
Rotten Tomatoes: 68% – Although Tron’s state-of-the-art, computer-generated visuals look primitive by current standards, it’s intelligently conceived (on a visual level, at any rate) and largely good fun.
My rating: **
My assessment (the first 101 words at least): This is definitely a movie that has not stood the test of time. It feels as though it’s completely reliant on visuals to entertain the viewers when the plot isn’t moving forward. Even when you simply focus on the plot, it’s a very simplistic one that doesn’t seem to live up to the hype that has surrounded it. To top that off, being a programmer does not help me appreciate the world that surrounds this film. While I was able to understand the cult following the Star Wars film had, I simply can’t understand why this film was considered a classic.
I suppose I should start with the Star Wars comparisons. Perhaps it was my own fault for watching Tron so soon after the entire Star Wars trilogy, but I couldn’t help but constantly make correlations between the two. A one female and two male group set out to stop the evil empire. We have Tron, a lone warrior who’s destined to defeat Darth Vader (I mean the MCP), guided by the force (I mean users), and using his custom light saber (I mean his frisbee). Of course you could easily argue that since Star Wars uses some very classic themes, it is inevitable that weak comparisons could be made to other films. Still, it did feel like a small correlation existed.
I also was annoyed at the world that was created. I’m a SciFi fan, I can shut off parts of my brain usually to accept the world, but when you say that all these people are programs it leaves me with questions. What world are all these programs wandering on. Why do they feed on power, why not memory or disk space? All of these programs have to go to one place to talk to their users, it must be crowded. If one hour in that place is like a nano-second in real time, then talking to your user must take eons. Why are there hundreds of Hello World programs running around, would those be the equivalent of children programs? Perhaps my obsession with questioning this movie proves how bored I was while watching it.
The plot of the movie was somewhat entertaining, though the movie seemed to stop the plot every now and then just to let you soak in the visuals of the world. While this may have been impressive 25 years ago, it isn’t that impressive now. I can at least say for the visuals that once you are introduced into the world, you are there. I wasn’t searching for lines, or flaws in the costumes, I simply enjoyed the show. If the film had focused entirely on story, rather than stopping every now and then to flex it’s muscles, it would have held up much better.