Starring: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood
Director: John Badham
Running Time: 113 mins
WarGames is an American film about a teenage boy with a hobby for computer games, who accidentally hacks into the US military system and finds himself inadvertently threatening to start a nuclear third world war.
This is on the whole a very predictable and unfortunately dated film that really failed to grab my interest. It’s got a decent performance from a pre-Ferris Bueller Matthew Broderick, and some exciting sequences, but I think that this film struggles to understand what type of movie it really wants to be.
The problem is that, in the early 1980s, the Cold War was still going and the rapid rise of computers was fascinating people all over the world, so this was probably the perfect film to illustrate that at the time. However, nowadays, the whole concept seems very dated and can be hard to relate to, and that’s why I struggled to really get interested in its story.
Also, what annoyed me about this too was that its story is totally preposterous, and whilst the film occasionally recognises that, on the whole, it doesn’t feel like it’s consistently going for a crazy sci-fi story. Yes, on occasion, it’s a silly fantasy story that’s over the top and exciting, where you can accept such a preposterous story, however on other occasions, the whole thing gets a little bit too serious, but you just can’t take it seriously.
Away from that, this film also struggles in making a fast-paced, entertaining thriller. It takes absolutely ages to get going, and then even longer to really get into the crux of the situation created by this sudden alert of nuclear threats to the USA, and by the time that everything really starts kicking off (about an hour in), it’s hard to say that you’ve been fully engrossed in the incredibly slow and relatively dull character establishment that takes so long to really do anything.
To be honest, this film is fine. It’s not exciting, nor is it a novel idea, and being dated does hurt it unfairly, however if you watch it with the intention of having a very light and preposterous story put to you, this can be simply enjoyable, so that’s why it gets a 6.8 from me.