Friday, July 17, 2015
Movie Review: War Games
WarGames was released back in 1983, a good 4 years before I was born, but it's legacy was such that I knew of the movie despite never having seen it. I always thought I'd one day get around to checking this piece of nerdy history out, but just never got around to it.
Then I read Ready Player One, which is basically about a bunch of kids in a not-so-distant future dystopia reliving the old video game and nerd days of the 80's, and this movie WarGames was specifically referenced in an important way. My itch to watch this flix increased tenfold, and then I saw Netflix added it to their list and immediately watched it!
If, like me, you hadn't seen this movie yet, let me set the scene. The movie is essentially another one of those types where the computer is given too much power and, with its limited morality, begins to reek havoc on the lives of us dumb humans. That in and of itself isn't too special, but WarGames takes a unique approach in that the computer is not being intentionally evil. The computer is just trying to do exactly what it was designed for: conducting thermonuclear war on the dirty Russians!
The computer in WarGames isn't Skynet from Terminator, trying to eliminate the pitiful human race just because it wants to. This computer isn't even VIKI from I, Robot, which deduces that in order to save the human race, it must confine them to a life in cages. It isn't the ridiculous over-the-top Ultron from the last Avengers movie, who researches human nature for all of 5 seconds and deems humanity must be destroyed. No, no, no! What makes the computer from WarGames so amazing is that it never gains self-awareness, nor thinks outsides its programming! The ingenious here is that WarGames is the perfect setup to how humanity, when clouded by fear, never considers the full weight of its decisions! This is a story about how we (or the government) creates a monster designed to kill and then becomes shocked when lo and behold, this monster decides to KILL!
Just to sum it all up, this was great. I loved the ride and I don't want to give anything else away for fear of spoilers. If you get a moment and you have Netflix at the ready, put this movie in your play list and enjoy!