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.