WarGames (1983)


WarGames Review

WarGames is a 1983 sci-fi thriller film directed by John Badham and starring young Matthew Broderick. It is one of the more well crafted blockbusters of the decade.

It follows a young hacker who accidentally accesses a US military supercomputer and must prevent the start of the nuclear war. This story is of course hugely entertaining and simply fun from beginning to end. Yes, it is childish, but it is more childlike than childish to be exact and it is just fun to watch and very likable. There is only one big problem I’ve had with the plot and overall film and that is that it’s way too predictable with many plot points being incredibly easy to predict. And its happy ending, although sweet and even clever, is still too triumphant in a typical blockbuster manner.

The characters here are really good. David is an archetype, but he’s never a bother. Jennifer is really fun and likable and all of the military men were somewhat memorable and some even funny. Dr. Falken is also a good character but the one which should have been more fascinating because he was obviously written to be so. Overall the characters are not too remarkable, but solid for blockbuster expectations.

The acting is really good. Matthew Broderick is stupendous in his early role and Ally Sheedy was really sympathetic. And as for the adults, all did a great job with Dabney Coleman being the best.

It is technically a pretty good movie. It is quite well directed and of course well acted. The script is really good and I liked its sophistication near the end and its great message. The pacing is excellent with never a boring or too extended scene and although the movie lasts a bit too long, it is still a memorable and fun experience. I liked its dialogue as well and the whole mix of genres is terrific. The science fiction elements are great and the thriller elements are also good, but the best are weirdly enough the teen elements thanks to excellent pairing of the two.

The story is overall really memorable and so entertaining. I liked its incorporation of video games and it was to me especially interesting watching this movie after reading so much about it in ‘Ready Player One‘. The attention to detail is great and the score is also well done. It is predictable, but never too lazy or too childish. I liked that there wasn’t much action in WarGames and that I highly appreciate in blockbusters. The movie is also admittedly quite original and imaginative and it uses its premise and setting wonderfully. I also liked the humor very much. It was present only from time to time, but was really well done. And it is definitely worthy of its excellent critical reception as it is in my opinion one of the rare blockbusters from the eighties that are not only good, but likable and clever as well. And also exquisitely well crafted.

WarGames is such a well crafted and endlessly entertaining movie filled good acting, nice characters, entertaining story and excellent incorporation of different genres ranging from teen to sci-fi to thriller. It is also a smart and very well scripted film with fine dialogue, good message and excellent pacing. It is too predictable at times, but it is wonderfully childlike and hugely entertaining nonetheless and is one of the best blockbusters of the eighties for sure.

My Rating – 4.5


      Interior & Exterior Stills from WarGames

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Posted in 1980s, 1983, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Science Fiction, Teen, Thriller and tagged , , , , , , .

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