Kevin Flynn is a young and gifted software engineer who works for the software corporation ENCOM, creating several video games on the company’s mainframe after hours, aiming to start his own game company. However, another programmer presents Flynn’s work as his own.
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There is some level of merit in the time this came out. 1982 is 2 years before Neuromancer was published. Even if this is mainly fantasy and quite harmeless politically, it did invite everyone to pose questions when there was no reference for (and no way to visualise) what cyberspace could be. This went way beyond cybernetics. It worked mainly due to its simple powerfull aesthetic. It's a great visual achievement.
Marianne Faithfull aged better than this movie. The only thing Tron must have had going for it at the time was come cool effects and that's it. Tron is not a good movie, its a piece of nostalgia that 15 or 20 minutes in you'll come to the conclusion was a bad idea. Kind of how Tron Legacy might be viewed in 28 years. At least a crappy movie is potentially being improved upon with Tron Legacy...
It's dated and cheesy, of course, but it's also easy to see how this became a cult classic. Despite the dated special effects, the visuals are still memorable and arresting. And the story is fun and fast-paced, and anchored by a central performance by Jeff Bridges. Maybe not great cinema, but very satisfying cult entertainment.
An interesting fact is that this wasn't allowed to be up for a special FX award as using computers was seen as cheating. The visuals still hold up even now with a respectful narrative and a great performance for Jeff Bridges. A visually pleasing film with strong characters, whats not to like?