classic 80s cold war film, one of the best of its kind. in the cold war film genre there’s dr. strangelove and then there’s everything else. like that film, war games shows the futility and insanity of MADD and constant war posturing. it also shows the ease with which the human race could be reduced to near zero. in this case it’s not a rogue general, but some kid looking to play a game who hacks a computer with far too much power. in this way it’s a cross between tron and dr. strangelove.
it lacks subtlety in its message, but most of these films do. it’s not about gently nudging the audience towards the conclusion that being on the edge of nuclear war at all times is possibly a poor idea, it’s about hitting people over the head with the fact that the current situation (at the time) is idiotic. that said, the film never gets preachy. on the one hand it’s about this kid (broderick) who is in way over his head, on the other hand it’s about two countries that are in way over their heads as well. the cold war was an interesting time, i’m glad i was around for part of it.