Archive for David Warner

Tron

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) 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 named Ed Dillinger (David Warner) locks Flynn out of the system and presents Flynn’s work as his own. Dillinger earns himself a series of executive promotions, while Flynn is relegated to opening a video game arcade, featuring the games that he created. From then to the present, Flynn tries to hack into the ENCOM mainframe to find evidence of Dillinger’s wrongdoing, but his program, Clu, is caught and erased by the Master Control Program (MCP), an artificial intelligence running on the ENCOM computer system.

The MCP, with Dillinger’s authorization, shuts down access to the security group Flynn is using, inadvertently locking out another ENCOM employee, Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner). Alan goes to speak to Dillinger and reveals that he was working on a security program, Tron, which would monitor communications between the MCP and the outside world. After Alan leaves, the MCP confronts Dillinger about this, stating that it cannot afford to have programs monitoring it. It reveals its intention to break into the Pentagon and other military mainframes, claiming it can run things “900 to 1200 times better than any human.” When Dillinger attempts to assert his authority, the MCP essentially blackmails him into complying with its wishes.

Meanwhile, Alan and his girlfriend, Dr. Lora Baines (Cindy Morgan), go to warn Flynn that he has been noticed. Explaining what happened, Flynn convinces them to sneak him into ENCOM’s laser laboratory, where he can access the mainframe via a different security group. Lora, who has been developing a method of digitizing real objects into the computer, sets Flynn down at her terminal in the laser lab, where a laser is pointed directly at the terminal. As Flynn attempts to break into the system, he is confronted by the MCP, who takes control of the laser and suddenly digitizes Flynn into the ENCOM mainframe. Flynn finds himself standing in the digital world, where Programs resemble their human creators, the Users.

Flynn is taken first to a holding pit, where he meets the Program RAM, then is taken with a number of other Programs to meet Sark, a Program that resembles Dillinger. Sark informs everyone that they can either renounce their belief in the Users and join the MCP, or be forced to play games that will result in their eventual elimination. Despite Sark’s misgivings over harming Flynn (who he knows to be a User rather than a Program), he is forced into compliance by the MCP and compels Flynn to play a game against another Program. Flynn emerges victorious, but is horrified when Sark “de-rezzes” his opponent.

Flynn eventually meets Tron (Alan’s Program), and he, Tron and Ram escape from the Light Cycle arena into the system, prompting Sark to send out his forces in pursuit. Eventually, a tank fires at the group, killing Ram and separating Flynn and Tron. While continuing to follow Tron, Flynn gradually discovers that as a User he possesses god-like powers within the computer dimension, enabling him to manipulate its ‘physical’ laws at will.

Tron makes his way to an input-output tower, where he receives instructions from Alan on how to destroy the MCP. He then makes a getaway aboard a Solar Sailer simulation with the help of Yori (Lora’s Program), and is reunited with Flynn, who is disguised as one of Sark’s forces. At this point, Flynn reveals that he is actually a User. Moments later, Sark’s ship collides with the Solar Sailer, destroying it and capturing Flynn and Yori. While Tron is believed to have been killed in the collision, he in fact escapes aboard Sark’s shuttle (the command line), which flies down to land next to the MCP’s core. Sark de-rezzes his command ship, but Flynn manages to keep it and Yori alive, and they pilot the ship toward the MCP.

The MCP has gathered a number of Programs and tells them that they will become a part of it. Sensing Tron’s presence nearby, the MCP sends Sark out to investigate, resulting in a battle between the two Programs. Tron gains the upper hand and severely damages Sark. In seeming desperation, the MCP transfers its functions to Sark, causing him to grow to enormous size. Tron begins attacking the MCP directly, but his attacks are blocked by a shield. Flynn then jumps into the MCP’s core to distract it long enough for Tron to throw his disc into the core. This destroys both the MCP and Sark and frees the system. All the backed-up I/O requests with the outside world start flowing freely again, including the I/O request to return Flynn back to the real world. Flynn is sent back to the terminal in ENCOM’s laser lab, where a nearby printer is finally printing his Priority One request for the evidence he needs to prove Dillinger’s piracy.

Dillinger comes into work the next morning to find the MCP non-functional and the same evidence displayed on his screen. Flynn later becomes the new CEO of ENCOM.

REVIEW:

With the forthcoming Tron:Legacy, I figured it would be a good time to watch the original Tron and catch up.

Now, I’m sure there are more than a handful of you out there that want to sit there and say that the graphics in this thing are subpar and outdated. Say what you will, but remember that this was released in 1982, and for that time they were cutting edge.

If you’re going to make a film about the inside of a computer, then obviously, the scenery and special effects are going to be the thing that really makes your picture. Tron does not disappointing in that department.

Each of these sets is amazing, but my favorite had to be the light cycle race. I’m not a fan of racing, by any means, but if you were to put something like that on as a real sport, I’d be there with bells on.

The plot to this film is a bit flimsy, or maybe it is just that it wasn’t really well executed. I’m not sure, but for some reason I just couldn’t seem to really follow it. I know what the basic premise is, but how it all comes together is still, after as many times as I’ve watched this film over the years, a mystery.

Be honest, are you really watching a film like this for the acting? However, if you must know, the acting ok. Nothing special, but I blame the script. It didn’t do them any favors.

Tron is one of the greatest, yet underrated sci-fi films of the 80s. It is often overshadowed by the holy trilogy and other films of the like that came out during this time, but it is more than capable of holding its own against those juggernauts.

Should you take the time to check this out? Well, duh! Seriously, though, yes you should. Especially if you plan on seeing the sequel that comes out in the next couple of weeks. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

4 out of 5 stars

 

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