So I was going to review the anime classic Ghost in the Shell for my February Blindspot pick but I started it and it had too much nudity for me to be comfortable with. So, as a replacement I decided to watch the Disney sci-fi classic Tron.
The Blindspot project is where we watch and review a classic film we have never seen before. I had never seen Tron before tonight but had heard how great it was from many people. Now that I’ve seen it I can see why they like it so much. It’s a thoroughly unique, creative, entertaining sci-fi film.
Tron was made in 1982 and it’s pretty amazing when you think of the visuals involved. Just as a point of comparison, Pixar made their first short, The Adventures of Andre and Wally B in 1984, and that is about a minute and a half. This is a whole movie made 2 years earlier heaped full of visual effects both real and computerized. It’s incredible to watch and you can’t help but wonder ‘how did they do that?’
The story in Tron can be very confusing so it is perhaps better to just enjoy the visual experience, but I will try to summarize it. Basically Jeff Bridges plays Flynn a computer programmer who designs a video game but his boss played by David Warner stole the credit and passed the coding off as his work.
In an attempt to hack into the computer system and change the coding Flynn gets sucked into the computer itself. When he arrives in the computer world, he finds a system of subjugation where the MCP (Master Control Program) manipulates the programs and gets them to deny their belief in the Users (or humans playing the game).
As a User himself Flynn has the ability to use energy and change things for the programs. He and a program named Tron (Bruce Boxleitner) and Yori (Cindy Morgan) work to destroy the MCP before it destroys all the Programs.
Through destroying the MCP, Flynn the Programs can begin to communicate with their Users, Flynn is sent back and he is given the credit for his designs.
It is kind of convoluted but I didn’t care. I was able to keep track and found it creative and different. I see so much that feels the same that it is refreshing to watch something like Tron that is so out there. Kind of like Blade Runner, it is nice sometimes to watch a movie that is a little hard to figure out- that makes you think.
All the performances are good. I particularly liked Jeff Bridges who I thought was very attractive in the role! What a great smile! He was a great ambassador to this world and you felt like you were learning about it along with him.
I also liked Cindy Morgan, Bruce Boxleitner and David Warner. They are all good and elevate the material. This is not like Jupiter Ascending where the visuals apologize for terrible acting. They all do a good job.
The score by electronic musician Wendy Carlos is also a real standout. It merges synthesizer sounds with classic orchestra. I particularly liked the final number that uses a pipe organ. There are also 2 songs from Journey, which is kind of cool.
Tron won’t be for everyone. I am sure there are people who will think it is boring. It is kind of confusing but just go with it, just enjoy it. Some of the visuals look a little dated but it all works within the world of the movie and is consistent in its approach so that did not bother me. I really thought it was a cool sci-fi film and something different and unique.
Overall Grade- A-