Film: Tron
Year: 1982
Rating: 3/5
Summary: A unique, stylised fantasy world come to life.

First off, the plot of Tron is complete fantasy, and while it sort of works as a story of people fighting against an evil totalitarian government, you have to suspend your disbelief that half of the characters are anthropomorphic computer programs. This is a shame because the kind of people who watch films about computers are usually the same kind of people who too often take things literally.

Tron seems to work better as a metaphor for the Roman Empire, with slaves battling to the death for the amusement of others. There also appear to be one or two references to the films of George Lucas, such as the guards poking hapless citizens with large electronic sticks, spaceships slowly flying past the camera to reveal more and more of their gigantic size, and the general theme of being stuck in an electronic labyrinth.

Further requiring you to suspend your disbelief, the acting isn't always brilliant, but given that the actors often had to react to crosses of tape representing baddies or epic landscapes while running around in a darkened room, you can't blame them.

No one is likely to watch this film for the plot or the acting, however. It works better as an hour and a half showcase of cutting edge technology, wild imaginations, and most of all, painstaking hard work. Everything in the computer world is stylised, consisting of straight lines and simple curves made out of glowing neon. Despite the standard plot and acting, the movie captivates you, immersing you in its unique world of bright lights and geometric shapes.

To say that the special effects are good is an understatement. Rather than try to make computer generated images that look organic - an impossible task at the time anyway - painstaking effort was put into making the actors look artificial, and the effect is just as seamless. Even decades after the film's release, it's hard to guess which combination of techniques was used to produce any given shot.

As a movie, the plot is rather simple and unlikely to sustain an adult's interest, but as an experiment showing how a film can give you a glimpse into an alien world, it will likely inspire children, animators, programmers, graphic designers, and artists. No other film offers anything like its experience. It is truly unique.