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WarGames: The Dead Code

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Product Details

  • Actors: Colm Feore, Amanda Walsh, Matt Lanter, Nicholas Wright
  • Directors: Stuart Gillard
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015NORDM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,738 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A brilliant computer hacker must race against time and away from the FBI as he inadvertently begins World War III in this thrilling sequel to the smash hit WarGames.


A quarter-century after the 1983 hit film War Games, starring Matthew Broderick as a teen who taps into a military computer and nearly starts World War III, comes War Games: The Dead Code, a sequel for the digital age. Immersed in post-9/11 paranoia, the story concerns Philadelphia high-schooler Will Farmer (Matt Lanter), inadvertently linked to a terrorist organization while playing an online game with a secret government computer called "Ripley." On the run in Quebec with a girlfriend, Annie (Amanda Walsh), Will tries to stay ahead of authorities using only his wits. Until, that is, Will and Annie run into Dr. Stephen Falken (Gary Reineke), a character introduced in War Games as one of the "Joshua" computer program's inventors and now widely thought to be dead. Meanwhile, Ripley's keepers cast a net over Will's life--even arresting his mother--but eventually come to see that Ripley is attempting to overtake control over everything and lead civilization, once again, to the brink of Armageddon.

Handsomely directed by Stuart Gillard (television's Charmed), the visually busy War Games: The Dead Code makes much of a modest budget. A bunch of fine, Canadian actors give the computer-jargon-filled story a lot of dramatic muscle and interesting conflict to chew on, particularly Colm Feore as Ripley's arrogant program manager and Chuck Shamata as one of the doomsday machine's handlers. The film's suspenseful build to a thrilling climax is sometimes a little hard to follow, but one gets the idea just fine. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

This movie is so bad it hurts.
Each character in the movie is fully developed as a character, with personality and history that are not simply superfluous to the story but instead drive it.
G. Vozzo
While this movie bears all the marks of being a lesser sequel, it stands out as one of the better direct-to-DVD movies I've seen.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By The Music Man on August 8, 2008
Format: DVD
How can a studio have such a wonderful product to build upon, and screw it up so badly? The original War Games was filled with wonderful, sympathetic HUMAN characters, funny moments amid the rising drama, and a wonderful sense of pace and build. The Dead Code has NONE of this, substituting MTV-like editing, suspense-free drama, and amoral characters who you want to slap from the first moment. How to count the wrongs? The "Bimbo Bomb" at the very beginning? The completely inept chase scene where speeding cars CANNOT catch up with the on-foot suspects? The mother character who is introduced, and then dropped like a lead brick? The final scene which does nothing more than copy the original message? The non-existent chemistry between the two leads? The only good parts of this film are when they bring back elements from the original film, but those pleasures are few and far between. This one is awful from the word go. Watch the original instead.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By dgatwood on November 9, 2010
Format: DVD
They couldn't even get the person who played Falken to fake a British accent? Really?

This movie is riddled with plot holes so big you can drive a truck through it: It went off the mark because they tried to make it into more of a thriller/horror movie rather than Sci-Fi, and as a result, it has all the technical accuracy of a horror movie with lightning striking the ground and magically traveling up away from the ground to strike somebody on top of a two story building. Yeah, it's really that insanely wrong. Here's a partial list of the more egregious mistakes:

* A guy diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer is running around keeping up with a bunch of kids.

* A predator drone manages to fly from LA to Philadelphia by way of Canada, then continues to D.C. Actual range of a predator drone from L.A.: about as far as Albuquerque, NM. In the real world, it would have to land for refueling three times even if it made a direct flight to D.C. without flying through Canada.

* This missile had the ability to take out the entire population of Washington D.C. In reality, even with a Reaper, you get four missiles and two laser-guided bombs. In the best case, you'd only blow six craters that are a few hundred feet across. You might get lucky and kill a single-digit percentage of D.C. Not even close to 100%. That's just laughable. Even with six daisy cutter bombs (each of which weighs twice the total weight capacity of a predator drone), you'd only destroy a little over two square miles, or barely 5% of the area of Washington D.C., not counting nearby structural damage due to the pressure wave. The very idea that a single predator drone with a nonnuclear payload could wipe out Washington D.C. is preposterous.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bradley A. Beaupain on May 8, 2009
Format: DVD
I must agree with all the people who reviewed this in the resounding negative. The trailer that was shown at the one night 25th anniversary showing of the original was probably better. This version had the feel of a TV movie and without the references to the original characters(WOPR/Joshua and Steven Falken)it probably could have stood on its own. Unfortunately there would not have been a reason to tie it in with the original and thus people would be confused....It was fast paced, almost too fast and predictble yet at the same time, it was longer than necessary. It was a great premise, but perhaps if directed(and written) in the same style of John Badham, it would (could) have been better. Maybe watching it back to back with the original would help it, if only for a bit. The end segment reference makes it unable to stand on its own as without the reference to the end of the original, the entire point of the movie is lost. Unfortunately, not well written, it's almost as if someone took the original screenplay, changed a few scenes, added a few (non-caring or useless)characters and then hit print and then someone greenlighted it.......I won't even comment on the B and C list actors an their acting ability, or perhaps it is the director's fault. In any case, if you are a fan of the original, I won't insult your intelligence by saying you will or won't like it. I can't assume that you will or won't. Rent it before you buy it so that you can make the decision on whether to add it to your collection or not. Fortunately, I am not out any money on this as my local library had a copy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on January 3, 2011
Format: DVD
Admit it--you've been sitting around for the last 20-something years hoping for an update of the 1983 paranoid fable "War Games." I knew it! If anything, "War Games" itself is a nostalgic bit of fun that is definitely more "likable" than "great." It is a cautionary little adventure that absolutely tapped into the early eighties mindset and, as such, has lived on in the hearts of those that loved it upon its release. But the world is different now--we are inherently less naive, less innocent. Might not a modernization of "War Games" be an interesting proposition? I think the answer is an unequivocal "yes." However, if the by-product of such thinking has brought us "War Games: The Dead Code," then it might be chalked up to a squandered notion. As a stand-alone film, there are far better examples of this genre on the market and as a tie-in to the original film, "Dead Code" pretty much misses that mark as well.

Matt Lanter plays the oldest high school student in Philadelphia. In an improbable bit of happenstance, Lanter diverts funds from his neighbor's bank account (which is being manipulated by a terrorist cell) to play a cash-prize Internet game called "The Dead Code" (really a covert military computer named Ripley programmed to autonomously identify and respond to possible terrorists). His mom also, coincidentally, works in a lab and brings home loads of innocuous, but suspicious, chemical compositions. Man, I just described last Thursday night at my household. Before you can whisper 9/11, Lanter is pegged as a maniacal mastermind intent to wreak havoc on ole Philly. But, don't worry, Lanter is still off to Canada on a school field trip even as authorities arrest everyone else associated with him.
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