Had I not known before watching the film (or had I somehow missed the remarkably obvious "hidden Mickey"), I would have never guessed TRON to be a Disney film. It simply has little to nothing in common to anything else Disney has ever made. And I'm not referring to the lack of musical numbers or princesses, but rather the lack of humor, coherent plot, memorable characters, and basically anything resembling entertainment. TRON is a mess. A boring mess. Its cult classic status is a mystery to me.
Normally I'd explain the plot of the film right about now, except I have no idea what the movie was about. Somebody named Flynn gets sucked into a computer game, and has to figure out how to defeat something called Master Control Program. But there are so many points of confusion and tedious chase scenes mish-mashed throughout the film, that the plot gets totally lost at times.
Perhaps I would have a better understanding of the story if the dialogue wasn't so terribly dull. The script is composed of incredibly bland exposition and tedious tech-talk, making it a chore to listen to.
While TRON is only 96 minutes long, it's fairly dull from the very start. There are some slightly intriguing elements early on, but by the time TRON hits the 45 minute mark, it becomes a certified snore-fest. Frankly, I was just about bored to tears.
TRON is often praised for its "incredible" visuals. But they look so horrendous that I can't imagine they are appreciated as anything more than as a lesson in how NOT to create special effects. I understand that this film is over 30 years old, but surely the intense ugliness of this production was evident at the time of its release.
The effects are frightfully messy looking. Once we enter the video-game world, everything from the backgrounds to the (laughably bad) costumes are digitally created. This makes the film appear muddy and shoddy. So muddy, in fact, that I frequently mixed up the identities of certain characters, merely because the special effects caused their faces to be difficult to see clearly.
The acting ranges from bland to campy. Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan fall into the former category. David Warner falls into the latter.
The score, composed by Wendy Carlos, is delightfully retro, yet simultaneously obnoxious as a result. The electronic elements are amusing, but they become excessive and irritating as the film progresses.
A mess of a film, TRON features disastrously ugly special effects, terrible dialogue, weak acting, and a confusing story that isn't worth trying to follow. On top of that, it's just a big bore, lacking the fun and excitement of the films it's so clearly trying to imitate (namely Star Wars). If you want to see a better video-game oriented Disney film, watch Wreck-It Ralph. If you've already seen Wreck-It Ralph and you want to see if Disney can find success in the same pattern twice, here's your answer: no. Go watch Wreck-It Ralph.