Tron (review by Doug Smith)
“Tron,” starring Jeff Bridges, paints a perfect picture of a nation recovering from the terror that was the seventies. Complete with Pong and square-headed guys jumping over pits, this movie gives us a firsthand look into the high tech. world of 1982. It’s about a guy who gets sucked into a computer and is forced to play video games. In some ways, it makes us thankful for Win95, which I never thought would be possible. The live action sequences that occurred inside the computer were filmed in black and white, and colorized with photographic and rotoscopic techniques later. Also, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a sign of Disney’s evil. During the “solar sailor” sequence (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it), you catch just a glimpse of Mickey Mouse’s shadow on the ground, made to look like part of the terrain. Unless my eyes deceived me, I swear it morphed into the silhouette of Satan for a split second.
Jeff Bridges plays Kevin Flynn, the hyperactive computer genius that gets sucked into cyberspace. Bruce Boxleitner, of “Scarecrow & Mrs. King” fame, plays the title character and his real world counterpart, Alan Bradley. David Warner plays the obligatory British villain, Ed Dillinger (Sark, in the cyber world). Cindy Morgan, who played Lacey Underall in “Caddyshack,” plays Lora/Yori. For some reason or another, we never learn Lora’s last name… And, finally, Barnard Hughes plays Dr. Walter Gibbs/Dumont, an early incarnation of Dr. Light from the Mega Man video games.
This movie is rather difficult to describe. Basically, there are two worlds. The real world – which isn’t ANYTHING like the lame MTV program that showcases whiny, spoiled brats whose parents apparently never bought them a pony when they were five – and the cyber world. Every computer user in the real world has a cyber world counterpart. Now then, there’s stuff that happens in both worlds, which is pretty easy to follow while you’re watching the film, but not so easy to summarize after the film. Sure, it’s easy to write a one-line summary … I did it in the first paragraph … but YOU try to stretch that to 500 words.
What I’m going to do is summarize the main part of the movie, which is the part that takes place inside the computer. There’s some stuff that happens before and after, but it’s really not all that important. All you need to know is that the Master Control Program (MCP) – the program that controls a huge corporation’s system – is pretty much bent on world domination.
Now then, Kevin Flynn gets sucked into cyberspace while trying to break into the MCP. Once there, he meets Tron and Ram, programs that wish to overthrow the maniacal MCP, and is informed that the MCP assimilates any program it finds useful. In other words, it basically does what Bill Gates did to the Mac OS. Its definition of useful is whoever succeeds in a few rounds of video games. So, Trekkies, take comfort! You’re useful after all! After playing and winning a few video games, Flynn, Tron and Ram set out to destroy the MCP. Some stuff happens and they succeed and the cyber world lives happily ever after.
Not much of a summary, but I’m tired and don’t feel like writing anything else, so you’ll have to settle for that. Now then, what did I think of this movie? Eh… For one thing, I NEVER wanted to see Jeff Bridges in spandex. Other than that, it was fairly decent. The effects were definitely ahead of their time. I guess that’s about it. I give it 3 1/2 yaks. I’d like to give it 4, but it being a Disney movie prevents that.