Every once in a while, I’ll run into a movie I remember liking as a kid and I’ll watch it again as an adult to find out how stupid it was. War Games is not that movie.
I almost didn’t watch this. It was trapped on one end of the DVR with 10 other movies like Top Gun and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai in the “just in case” section. Thank you, forces that pointed me to this one. I don’t need to see Tom Cruise shirtless anymore.
Apparently, hackers call this movie the most accurate hacking movie that’s been made. It’s possible that was only true for the time, but I’ll take that. It was much more intelligent than I remember. It opens very strong with an ELE scenario and progresses to show how this hack could actually spark the end of the world.
We all remember Broderick hacked into a computer thinking he was playing a game but he was really simulating war on government computers. Well, what I didn’t remember was the complexity of the government involvement, the crazy doomsday guy who backdoored this code and the false bottom at the end of the movie. Had the movie ended when they figured out how to stop the game from launching, it would have been great. But the second ending, with the computer shutting out all human interaction and simulating war from all different vantage points, was a surprise and perfection. I even forgave it for the cheesiness of “the only way to win is not to play.” Especially when it ends on “How about a nice game of chess?”
This movie is brilliant for its time and unlike most, can stand up still today. Ally Sheedy was even understated, which is a good thing. 10 bugs (out of 10).