WarGames: The Dead Code

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Matt Lanter as Will Farmer
Chuck Shamata as Bill Carter
Maxim Roy as Tina Rashe
Nicolas Wright as Dennis Nichols
Claudia Ferri as Agent Bolton
Lucinda Davis as Joleen Dupree
Alberto Delburgo as Mr. Massude
Colm Feore as Kenneth Hassert
Susan Glover as Gail Farmer
Trevor Hayes as Agent Aaron Scott
Robert Higden as Mr. Baron
John Koensgen as Martin Cavanaugh
Ricky Mabe as Newman
John Maclaren as Norman Paget
Matthew Raudsepp as Doug Maltz
Gary Reineke as Stephen Falken
David Schaap as General Stradler
Vlasta Vrana as Ivan Prokosh
Amanda Walsh as Annie
Russell Yuen as David Chen

Special Features:
Audio Commentary
The Making of “WarGames: The Dead Code”
Production Stills Gallery
Trailers

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Languages
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 100 minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official synopsis of the film:

“A brilliant computer hacker must race against time and away from the FBI as he inadvertently begins World War III in this thrilling sequel to the smash hit ‘WarGames’!”

“Wargames: The Dead Code” is rated PG-13 for some violence and language.

Mini-Review:
I was a fan of the first “WarGames,” so I was somewhat interested to see this sequel. And it did have a few things going for it. ‘The Dead Code” has a decent cast, it makes the most of post-9/11 paranoia, and it takes advantage of the advances in technology since the ’80s. There’s also an amusing cameo from the first movie (which I won’t spoil here). Unfortunately, the movie as a whole is a disappointment.

First of all, it’s quite dull. This is partly because most of the action is simply men in suits chasing the teenagers. It gets repetitive. It’s also because the film is so utterly predictable. You can tell what’s going to happen a mile away and it doesn’t help matters that the movie ends almost exactly the same way as the first “WarGames” movie. While it starts out with some originality, it ends with more of the same.

Another problem is the technology featured in the film. A lot of it is simply unrealistic. I don’t know if it’s that way for the convenience of film or because they didn’t have a technical consultant, but the computer stuff gets progressively more ridiculous as the story goes on. Who knew that Homeland Security could hack every single Canadian security camera on a whim? And I have to mention the blatant product placement for a “Stargate” video game in the movie – not a good move.

Finally, the government agents in this movie are all bullies, egomaniacs, and morons. Maybe that’s an accurate portrayal, but the movie alternatively shows them being ultra-competent in tracking their targets, yet utterly inept once they catch them. Chalk it up to more unrealism in the story.

I’d recommend you pass on this one and wait for it to appear on TV some time. Better yet, dig up the old “WarGames” and enjoy it in all its ’80s glory.

As for the bonus features, you’ll find a ‘making of’ featurette and an audio commentary.

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