Part of our limited retrospective series PRESS START TO CONTINUE: The World of READY PLAYER ONE. Curated by Ernie Cline, author of the original novel.
Matthew Broderick is an old fashioned teenage computer need who hacks into the US missile-defense system and accidentally triggers a simulation that threatens to end life on earth. Along with his girlfriend, Ally Sheedy, Broderick has to go on the run from the military and track down the system's antisocial creator by using landlines, dot-matrix printers and gigantic floppy discs.
Why, just in the opening scene of this 1983 reminder about the potential (inevitable?) nuclear annihilation of all mankind, two missile commanders (Michael Madsen and John Spencer!) are ordered to launch a world-ending bomb and nearly K*ll each other arguing what to do.
It's a classic Cold War nightmare scenario, and even if that's all WARGAMES had going for it, it would still be a potent reminder of the technology that's still out there waiting to K*ll us all. But this movie is also about other timeless themes such as internet privacy, the arrogance of power and the perennially potent "growing up in the 1980s.”
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