Thursday, 25 November 2010

Film Review: TRON (1982)

Writer/Director: Steven Lisberger
Running time: 92 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): PG

UK Release date: 21st October 1982

Watched on DVD Thursday 25th November 2010.


In anticipation of the forthcoming Tron Legacy, I thought I’d go a bit retro and take a look at the 1982 original. I remember being blown away by the whole concept when it first came out, but now I’m a tad older and several tads wiser, it’s maybe lost a bit of its awe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a pretty enjoyable film… But more of that later, here’s a short summary before I tell you what I really think (summary haters please wait on the game-grid until the end of the next paragraph).

Kevin Flynn is a programmer who has been swindled by his old boss, Ed Dillinger. In order to find evidence of Dillinger’s con Kevin must break into the system holding the data. He is assisted by his friends, Alan Bradley and Lora. Little do they know a rogue Master Control Program (MCP), written by Dillinger, has taken over the system. Flynn is digitised and sucked into the system, where programs take on the form of their programmers. He is forced to take part in gladiatorial games, at the behest of the MCP, but he escapes with two other programs, Tron and Ram. Now Tron was written by Alan Bradley and is designed to take down the MCP. The trio must make their way to the MCP before it becomes too powerful. They are pursued by the MCP’s most powerful warrior, Sark. Will they make it in time? Well, I guess I’d better leave it there, don’t want to give too much away.

Although it does look fairly dated by today’s standards, I think the effects stand up pretty well. You can tell they spent a lot of time and money getting it to look as good as it does. Unfortunately some of the dialogue is a bit wooden, particularly in the first half hour, and the musical score doesn’t exactly set your toes tapping, but I can forgive that. Performance wise, Jeff Bridges did a decent job as Kevin Flynn / Clu, as did Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley / Tron. Honourable mentions also go to; David Warner as Ed Dillinger / Sark / Master Control Program and Cindy Morgan as Lora / Yori.

I found it a little dull for the first thirty minutes or so, but after Flynn is sucked into the computer it soon grabbed my attention. It brought back so many memories, I used to love playing the light cycles game at the arcade. But enough nostalgia, although is seems a little dated, it’s still perfectly watchable today. I really enjoyed it and I hope the younger generation will also get the chance to see this one… Recommended.

My score: 6.8/10

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