(Welcome to DTV Descent, a series that explores the weird and wild world of direct-to-video sequels to theatrical released movies. In this edition: we take a look at a DTV sequel to a beloved ’80s film featuring a trouble-making Matthew Broderick and a dead child named Joshua.)
WarGames was a big hit back in the summer of 1983 despite its dark subject matter – nuclear war, millions of lives at risk, teens forgetting to put lids on trash cans – and its self-contained story and highly satisfying conclusion left no need for a follow-up. 25 years later, though, some asshole decided to make one anyway.
2008’s WarGames: The Dead Code is a direct sequel despite arriving a full quarter of a century later, and audiences reacted by completely ignoring its existence. The film immediately disappeared into the ether, but as a firm believer that every movie deserves a chance – and as someone with a column concerned with DTV sequels to wide releases – I decided to give it a spin. Could it have been unfairly dismissed? Is it deserving of reappraisal and a fan base dedicated to turning it into a cult hit? Should you, dear readers, invest cash money and 100 minutes of your precious time towards seeing it?
For the love of all that’s holy, the answer to all three of those questions is a resounding no.
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Production Weekly is reporting that Leonardo DiCaprio is looking to produce a reboot of the classic 1983 sci-fi hacker film WarGames. The original WarGames is a great geek flick, a flashback to the days when a 1200 baud modem was fast, and capable of destroying the world. Plus, this is a movie which features the first cinematic reference to a “firewall”. But could the story be updated to modern times without becoming the mess that was The Dead Code? I’m not quite sure.
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And you thought The Lost Boys direct-to-dvd sequel looked bad… take a look atÂ MGM’s direct to dvd sequel to one of my all-time favorite movies – the classic 1983 sci-fi hacker film WarGames. And sadly, NO, this is NOT an April Fools Day joke…
WarGames: The Dead Code stars Matt Lanter as a computer geek named Will Farmer who engages a government super-computer named R.I.P.L.E.Y. and enters in a game of online terrorist-attack simulation (yes, instead of global thermonuclear war from the original movie). But apparently the game is actually part of a sophisticated piece of government spyware designed to find potential terrorists. Homeland Security, now believing Farmer is a terrorist, sets out to apprehend him. And the computer, of course, forgets that it’s just playing a game.
If that plot description doesn’t sound bad enough, watch the trailer below. It looks like it takes all the horrible computer visualization from Hackers combined with a story which barely resembles the original film starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/wargames2.flv 460 346]
Discuss: What did you think?
While waiting outside of Comic Con , we ran into two busses decked out in full promotion for the upcoming Spaceballs animated series and the WarGames direct to DVD sequel. We were able to snap off a couple photos before they drove away.
We’ve written at lengths about our disgust for movie studios raping some of our favorite films for a few quick direct to dvd bucks. his is definitely the case with the WarGames sequel. Spaceballs on the other hand has some potential. Check out the photos after the jump. As always, click on the images to enlarge.
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