Direct-to-video sequels donâ€™t always have to suffer the same fate: largely disembowelment at the hands of studios thatâ€™ve under financed them.
If â€œWarGames 2 : The Dead Codeâ€ did only cost a fraction of what the original 1983 movie did – then it definitely doesnâ€™t show on screen. As unnecessary as the sequel may be â€“ Iâ€™ll admit, itâ€™s quite belated â€“ itâ€™s turned out much, much, better than anyone (myself in particular â€“ you all know how much of a purist I am for the classics of the 80s) couldâ€™ve ever suspected. Iâ€™d go so far as to say it mightâ€™ve even possibly had gotten away with a theatrical release, given a good marketing team behind it (and maybe a Matthew Broderick cameo).
Before I go any further let me preface this review by telling you that not only do I know one of the writerâ€™s and one of the producerâ€™s on the film â€“ I also work for them. I did not however work directly on â€œWarGames 2â€. The gentlemen in question would much rather I offered up an honest opinion about the film, than spread lies about how great it is, too â€“ so youâ€™ve got nothing to worry about in terms of this being a fabricated decree. Itâ€™s indeed not. I truly, enjoyed the film. Even if I didn’t, they’d expect me to say as much.
First things first, besides the return of Stephen Falken â€“ the chap from the first film, who invented Joshua; granted, heâ€™s played here by Gary Reineke not John Wood â€“ nobody else from John Badhamâ€™s fun 80s techno-thriller returns for the sequel. On the other hand, itâ€™s not as â€˜in-name onlyâ€™ as some might suspect though â€“ thereâ€™s quite a few links to the original, most notably, of course, the return of a certain prehistoric computer.
Matt Lanter, who most will remember from the short-lived â€œCommander-in-Chiefâ€ (he played Geena Davisâ€™s son), plays the Matthew Broderick/David of the film. A kid named Will Farmer. Heâ€™s a savvy computer/internet nut whoâ€™s always one-step ahead of those whoâ€™d wish heâ€™d stick to playing games (the â€œStargateâ€ game gets a bit of play in this â€“ probably because itâ€™s also an MGM title) and not snoop around their tough-to-crack portals.
Just as Eddie Furlong does in the underrated computer-slasher flick â€œBrainscanâ€ (remember that one?), Lanterâ€™s informed about a â€˜gameâ€™ thatâ€™ll blow his mind. Itâ€™s called â€˜Ripleyâ€™ and is essentially a man vs. machine competition that can see the human player take home thousands in dollars of cash â€“ by playing simulated WarGames online. Once he starts playing, he makes a new fr-enemy in Ripley â€“ who by the end of the film will be playing WarGames with the youngster for real.
The character of Falken, now an old-man who faked his death years before, reappears to help Lanterâ€™s character (and his babe-in-tow, played by hot newcomer Amanda Walsh ), escape the gun-carrying bad guys on his tail, as well as introduce him to the computer that can save the dayâ€¦ dusty old Joshua.
This is a fun flick. Not as fun as the original film. Not at all. But still, for a direct-to-video release, this is a good time. The script is good, the acting is good, the production design is inspired and the action sequences â€“ inspired by the â€œBourneâ€ films no doubt â€“ are well choreographed.
Fans of the original wonâ€™t be too disappointed at all.
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Against the Current - the band, not adventures in dangerous swimming 101
Zedd - If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? (Well, answer my question!)
Arrow (Okay, Felicity from Arrow!)
Chrissy Costanza (cat eyes and buttery lyrics!)
Girls (TV) (Okay, Allison Williams!)
Movies - especially when they play in the dark.
Twin Peaks (TV)
Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
Traveling - preferably where water is, so I can splash someone!
Star Wars trilogy - no, the other one, fella!
Alex G - far more talented than her younger brother Alex H
Cameron Crowe movies - Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous
The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
Reenacting dance/song scenes from "Grease" with my little girl (hey! Wait till you see my 'Summer Lovin'! - don't judge)
Die Hard - 40 stories of Sheer Adventure!
Alex Goot & Friends (his enemies aren't half as talented!)
Cooking up a nice dish and sitting in the entertainment area, on a cool night, basking in it's greatness.
Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.