Is it a game, or is it real?
High School student David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) has a talent for hacking. But while trying to hack into a computer system to play unreleased video games, he unwittingly taps into the Defense Department's war computer and initiates a confrontation of global proportions! Together with his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy) and a wizardly computer genius (John Wood), David must race against time to outwit his opponent...and prevent a nuclear Armageddon.
Today, WarGames is a nerd’s time capsule, possibly the biggest of them all, a celluloid equivalent of that box you have in your basement with obsolete technology kept out of misplaced sense of attachment, or maybe just because recycling electronics is hard and annoying.
Shall we even try to count it all? Eight-inch floppy disks, early VCRs, microfichés, paper library catalogs, dot matrix printers, galvanic modems, video game arcades with 8-bit shoot ’em ups, first hobbyist microcomputers, ASCII graphics (or was it ANSI?), analogue telephony, public phones, mainframe data centers with tape drives and blinkenlights.
Mr. Moore would be proud: it is astonishing to realize just 30 years later literally none of this exists any more. Without context – and…
It’s difficult to look back on a childhood favourite with fresh eyes, and not romanticise one’s memory of what it was like to watch first time round (and second… and third…). I watched the hell out of this in the years following its release, and while its politics, technology and production values have dated, the pace and youthful energy still hold up.
Broderick and Sheedy have great chemistry, largely because they don’t play quite to type: he’s more aloof and she more confident than was typical in other films of this era. Elsewhere the archetypes are more clear-cut (the suits, the parents, the Linux types), but there’s enough humour mixed with the serious and the ludicrous (nobody realises the supercomputer is playing a game simulation despite it saying so on its display?) that it all makes perfect sense.
Bonus points for recognising Michael Madsen and John Spencer as the two silo commanders in the pivotal opening scene.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I swear the general in this heavily inspired the general from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2. Anyway, I digress, let's actually talk about WarGames.
This film is a nerd's dream. The sets are fantastic, there's always something to look at, whether it be large, retro computers, HUGE floppy disks or Matthew Broderick's awful hair cut. It helps keep you glued to the screen. The story does, obviously too.
Broderick plays a kid who's name I don't remember, he's just Matthew Broderick to me, and a bloody young one at that, who hacks into the US's military systems, triggering their computers to believe that a nuclear war is about to occur.
Awesome technology, world war III, arcade, this all the things…
It has it's moments and it was certainly fun watching the early days of IT and giggling at how silly it all seemed. An actual physical phone used to dial up the internet, nonsense!
Mathew Broderick displays early signs of the charm that made Ferris Bueller's Day Off so enjoyable but at such a young age is unable to keep the film from becoming a little uninteresting as things progress.
Nice ideas and a little 80's nostalgia always goes a long way but ultimately not a very good film.
Carphones, George H.W. Bush posters, and dated Windows screens aside, Sneakers aged relatively well. WarGames, put together nine years before by the same pair of writers, is almost a polar opposite. Its allegiances to 1980s are obvious and immediate: disco music, John Hughes-esque teen romance, Cold War paranoia. On its surface, the movie seems like a relic.
Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Being engulfed by nostalgia is nothing if not wonderful. This is the movie with the young Matthew Broderick even before he became Ferris Bueller. The movie that introduced the general public to not just the idea that computers can be connected and talk to each other – but also, often, to computers themselves. The movie that…
Cheesy, goes off the rails near the end, but for the most part it's a fun adventure with a decent theme. Longer review can be found at Bill's Movie Emporium.
this movie accomplishes the rare feat of making the 80s look cool
#20 movie from my hubby's GTA 5 list for me.
3.5 out of 5 (B)
It's been a long time since I've seen War Games. Who knew Ally Sheedy could be attractive. Her role as Allison Reynolds in The Breakfast Club will forever be the way I see her. So it's hard to imagine her as good looking.
The movie is good, not great. It was probably a lot better back in the 80's when green screen computers were still the norm, but it's obviously very dated and the concept is quite silly now. But, it's still good fun and I quite like Matthew Broderick.
I liked the nostalgic 80's feel to it but that was about all. I really don't like Matthew Broderick.
verdict: passes the test of time.
Just watched it with kids who are the same age, now, as I was when I watched in 1983... although 2013 is post-cold war and the movie was made pre-internet... the Story still grips.
The suspense and pacing is crisp. (Dabney's and Barry's comedic timing still hits the mark today) Entertaining and a companion piece to Dr. Strangelove, I can't help but feel that thoughts of remake/reboot exist somewhere.
Anyway, except for a question about those 5 1/4 inch floppies, the idea of using technology and brains to penetrate the "adult" world still resonates. So, I guess, Wargames is proving to be a classic. (now, looking for John Badham's episodes of Nikita and Psyche)
Unbelievable and immature kids’ film.
My love for this movie is totally rooted in my own younger years. The combination of the Cold War threat, which was really prevalent back then, and the advent of those fancy new computers (an 8 inch floppy drive, awesome). Totally biased sentimental journey.