Sorry, it can’t be Star Wars 24/7 around here. Instead, let’s turn our attention to another movie from my youth I thoroughly enjoyed then and still do today.
That movie? Director John Badham’s 1983 cold war computer geek classic War Games.
In War Games, a young Matthew Broderick plays computer hacker David Lightman who tries to impress a girl named Jennifer (the equally young and cute Ally Sheedy) by hacking into the school’s computer to change her grade. He does it, she’s impressed and all is well. However, things then take a turn for the worse when David inadvertently hacks into a powerful NORAD defense computer known as the WOPR and almost starts World War III.
The feds, as you can imagine, are not amused and go looking for David. As they close in, and with the clock counting down until the start of an actual war by the computer that thinks its not a game, David goes on the run to find the only man who he hopes can make things right: the thought-dead inventor of the WOPR Professor Falken.
Sure, the movie’s technology is dated and yes, so are the hairstyles. But after 30 years War Games still holds up as a serviceable cold war thriller and provides some good insight into the mentality of an eighties teenager/hacker.
As a former eighties teenager/hacker myself, I can relate. Although, not to the almost starting World War III thing. That wasn’t me. I was out of town that day.
Check out the trailer for War Games below. If you haven’t seen it in awhile, or ever, it’s definitely worth a look.