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

Director: Steven Lisberger
Writers: Steven Lisberger, Bonnie MacBird, Charles S. Haas
Staring: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes
Release Date: July 9, 1982

I fucking LOVED this first half of this movie! Like holy how I know Tron (1982) is a cult classic, but it is nice to finally understand why. Jeff Bridges is a fucking superstar as Kevin Flynn, and good lord he was an amazing heart throb back in the early 1980s. We just have to be honest here in the trust tree. Tron, while it does lose a bit of steam towards the end, manages to create magic with a totally unique look.

Tron takes a Kevin, a regular (actually super skilled) programer and literally throws him into the virtual computer world of the ENCOM Cooperation. Kevin used to work for ENCOM, and he has been in the process of trying to hack into their database and get revenge/prove that their Project Dillinger stole his hard work. Kevin hacks a plan with Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) and Lora (Cindy Morgan), but the hero’s smooth journey is derailed when he is digitized and made into a computer file himself.

This is where we get trippy. Kevin is now within the ENCOM system, and he has to battle through various gladiator like survival missions within the CPU system in order to accomplish his goal of illuminating the truth Over the course of Tron, Kevin discovers he is like a god figure within the CPU. Understanding his skills and capabilities, Flynn and company go after the MCP (Master Control Program) in a climatic finale that pins classic good versus chaotic cyber evil.

The first have of Tron absolutely rocked. There is an undeniable vibe emanating from the screen when we are introduced Flynn and the entire cohort of characters. The arcade is a place that I would want to hang, and the computer puns filled within the MCP’s world are all worthy of a chuckle. I believe that there is a character named RAM. I love all of this.

The evil AI interface is very reminiscent of Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). However, in Tron, the heroes actually stand a shot because the CPU won’t just outright kill them. Flynn is given a chance to try and succeed. I freaking love the disk throwing scene. The first game that Flynn has to play in the computer world. It is my favorite scene in the movie.

One does have to admit that the end of Tron gets a little long in the tooth near its final climax. Once the special effects wonder wears off and the charisma of the characters starts to get weighted down by the atmosphere they are in, it gets harder to focus on the actual story of what it is at hand. The final showdown against the MCP is over relatively fast and the payoff is not grandiose.

Tron was nominated for two Academy Awards at the 1983 Oscars: Best Costume Design, and Best Sound. I can 100% agree with the Best Sound nomination. Tron lost out to fellow science-fiction fantasy flick, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).

Will I rewatch Tron: Legacy (2010) now with more of an appreciation for what it was and what it was trying to emulate? I think i may be adding it to me ever-growing watch list.

STANKO RATING: C+ (3.0/5 Stars)

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