This review will be spoiler free, so if you haven’t watched the film feel free to read on without worry. However, I will be making references to the original War Games and those aren’t necessarily spoiler free.
To be honest, I had forgotten about this movie. I really wanted to see it when I heard they were doing a sequel to War Games, which apparently was also spelled WarGames (which makes sense given that this movie was made in the early eighties and that whole 8.3 convention), but forgot about it. Then two days ago it showed up as available for instant watch on my netflix account. I watched it last night and it reminded me of the original in oh so many ways, I kept hoping for a special guest appearance by Matthew Broderick (the star of the first film), but alas.
The film stars Matt Lanter, whom I was unaware of previously, but according to imdb he is the voice of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (which incidentally was the first Blu-ray flick that netflix sent me). The kid is a computer genius (just like the star of the previous film) and is of course lusting after the girl of his dreams who happens to be his costar (just like the last movie). Of course we are in the Post-9/11 world now and technology has advanced quite a bit in the 25+ years since the original. Thus, when the kids are running, the supercomputer, named RIPLEY, taps into the surveillance networks surrounding them, easily finding them time and time again.
The kids eventually are helped by a couple of characters from the previous film and eventually the people running RIPLEY realize that she has been given too much autonomy, however now they can’t shut her down (“because that was the whole point! She needs to be free of human intervention.”) and so the kid must save the day.
One fairly cool bit was the appearance of the (hopefully) upcoming MMORPG Stargate Worlds. Not terribly much of it was shown, but it still looked interesting.
My favorite part of the film went a little something like this:
The star and his buddy are looking at the list of games to play and see “Global Thermonuclear Warfare” (the game played in the previous film), pause, look at each other and go “Nah”.
In summary, definitely worth a watch, and probably a buy; I will probably purchase it at some point when it is on sale.