Tron is for children, nerds.

445px-tron_poster

After reading a couple of reviews for Tron, I felt like an old churl. How could I not be charmed by the old fashioned computer graphics and the story of the little guy versus the corrupt Man? What can I say, Tron is corny. A bomb upon its release, Tron has grown a cult admiration, as a film that deals with battles inside a computer is wont to do. Tron plays best if you don’t try to think too hard and just enjoy Jeff Bridges performance.

Tron‘s most surprising aspect is that it is essentially the same old story you’ve seen and read a million times before, but in a computer game. And not even a very impressive one at that. Sure, the graphics were state of the art in ’82, I get that. But it makes the film look even more dated than films twice its age. Getting past that, the dialogue and performances are cheesy and laughable, with the exception of Bridges, who is certainly one of our finest actors. His presence is the only thing keeping the entire enterprise from becoming another MST3K episode. When he casts an incredulous pose when facing the most deadly game of jai alai, I had to smile.  Of course, Bridges has to take this all seriously or his character will die. I understand that. But the rules at play and the endgame of allowing a computer network to fully integrate with other programs as well as proving Jeff Bridges involvement in the creation of some successful video games comes down to much sound and fury signifying nothing. When two “computer programs” kiss, is it because they feel affection for each other? Are these evil computer programs actually “angry”? What do the guards and people talk about when they are milling about? Just about every character action in the computer world ellicted a “Wait, what?” response from me. But getting mad at Tron is fruitless. Sure the plot is derivative, Bruce Boxlietner’s performance is awkward and wooden, and they are clearly fighting with frisbees. That can be fun. For kids.

The Box and a Frisbee.

The Box and a Frisbee.

Because Tron is for children. I watched it because I had seen the dark and gritty new trailer for the sequel, which features ominous music, dark graphics and a decapitation. Whoops, you missed the point of your own movie. Based on this, I can’t wait for the Gummy Bears movie where they jump in the air for bullet time sword fights. You know, because we can.

Just two computer programs, nuzzling.

Just two computer programs, nuzzling.

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2 Responses to “Tron is for children, nerds.”

  1. Justin Says:

    Watching the trailer for the new Tron, I was enjoying its visual style. It seemed quite elegant, with the flowing light behind the cycles particularly impressive. Then I realized the whole thing uses pretty much the same angles, music, and lighting as a high-end car commercial. This depressed me in some intangible way…

  2. Sean Michaels Says:

    It was pretty to look at, while at the same time being pretty damn boring. The new one has my hopes up.

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