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Published on August 7th, 2008 | by simeon

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Wargames: The Dead Code

It is hard to believe that 25 years have passed since a computer took the world to the edge of nuclear annihilation in “War Games” The film starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy was a cautionary tale about the dangers of taking the human factor about military decisions, and like films such as “The Terminator” a cautionary warning about dependence on technology.
As the two and a half decades unfolded, many films have emerged that feature a central theme of technology run amuck, and how despite our frailties, humanity in the end is the ultimate master of its own fate.
In the new film “Wargames: The Dead Code”, audiences are given an updated retelling of the classic tale with more than a few reverent nods to the original.
The film stars Matt Lanter as Will Farmer, a good natured techie who is as eager to help his neighbor fix his computer as he is to play online games with his friend Dennis (Nicholas Wright). When Will decides to take on a new game that features terrorist attack scenarios he inadvertently triggers a series of events that will soon cause hundreds of thousands of lives to hang in the balance.
The game is actually a top secret project that is designed to locate, test, and remove any potential threats and is overseen by a computer system named Ripley.
Will embarks on a school trip to Montreal hoping to spend more time with the lovely Annie (Amanda Walsh), and is unaware that forces are at play that thanks to a unfortunate series of events, will soon have Amanda and Will not only running for their lives but locked in a race against time to prevent a catastrophe of epic proportion.
The film has a good premise, but asks you to take several leaps of faith as it progresses and uses logic that at times is absurd even for a genre film. Much of the film unfolds as a movie of the week rather than a taut action thriller that should be expected with the talent attached to the film, as many of the characters are not developed enough for the audience to truly care about their fates.
The film is also surprisingly short in the suspense department, though it does try to make up for this with some nice chase sequences.
It is a shame that the talented cast could not be given a script worth of their talents or the premise of the film.
2.5 stars out of 5.


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