Wargames 2: The Dead Code (Review)

Wargames 2: The Dead Code

Directed by Stuart Gillard

It’s War Games 2: The Dead Code, the latest DTV sequel of a movie that last hit theaters when most video renters were still in diapers. Thanks to the magic of constant reruns on TNT, USA, and HBO, everyone who is anyone has seen the original War Games over a billion times. Everyone learns that the only winning move is not to play, than Matthew Broderick changes his grades via computer, and that all programmers leave back doors. Now, War Games has been updated for the new millennium, with a girl computer, modern kids, and the War on Terror so in your face you won’t be able to sneeze. Join us as we encounter War Games 2: The Dead Code, and find out if your childhood has been raped, or merely felt up by your crazy uncle!

As we all know, the Dead Code is up up down down left right left right…no, wait, that’s the 40 lives code. The Dead Code is something new, and we’ll have to watch the film to get. Dammit! Our characters for this radio drama include:

Will Farmer (Matt Lanter) – Our main character whose name sounds super generic. Has a sick, chemical genius mom and a dead father. A compute whiz and hacker/phreaker. Able to seduce chess babes with but a single glance. Evades government security like he’s bin Laden.
Annie (Amanda Walsh) – A girl in chess club who becomes Will Farmer’s lover interest because she is a computer hacking pro. Excuse me while I don’t believe a word of that. Anyway, by the end of the film they are on their way to hacking each other’s naughty bits, and maybe Will will be lucky and find her backdoor password.
Dennis Nichols (Nicolas Wright) – Friend of Will Farmer, master of Stargate MMORPG, trash talker, hanger out in basements, and standard sidekick character.
Bill Carter (Chuck Shamata) – Head tech guy for the RIPLEY project, worried RIPLEY may have gone too far. Another old school hacker.
Kenneth Hassert (Colm Feore) – Horn-Rimmed Glasses. Arrogant guy in charge of the RIPLEY project. Spends most of the film being a jerk and talking down to generals and admirals he is supposed to be impressing for funding. Then suddenly becomes competent in the final section. Colm Feore was President Richard Adar on Battlestar Galactica, which means he should have experience with crazy machines armed with nuclear bombs. All this has happened before and will happen again.
Old Guy (Gary Reineke) – He is just an old guy, nothing to see here…
RIPLEY (Claudia Black)- The new computer is a girl. It is also crazier, more dangerous, and more intelligent. So, yeah, a girl. What does R.I.P.L.E.Y. stand for? Who cares, the film sure doesn’t care enough to tell us! The film used the Aliens and Talented Mr. Ripley jokes, so we will run the “Believe it or not!” joke down your throat until you beg for mercy.

So let’s get rockin’! In Afghanistan (home of Afghan blankets), the director is getting all stylish as jeeps jumping over dunes in slow-motion. The jeeps are driven by a bunch of Eurotrash gangsters and hookers meeting other Eurotrash gangsters who desire hookers, all of which are supposed to be the Taliban or something. They get bombed dead by an unmanned Predator drone. Shock and awe, indeed. If you take a close look at the missiles carried by the unmanned Predator drone, you will see it says “Inert”. I’ve never seen inert explosives explode so large before! We find out the bombing was ordered by RIPLEY, a girl computer! Believe it or not! Computers can’t be girls, so I choose not to believe.

Meanwhile, in the city of brotherly love, two guys who we will find out in a bit aren’t brothers are hanging out in a basement. One, Dennis Nichols, is playing the Stargate Worlds MMORPG that is so popular these days. The other, Will Farmer, is messing around doing phone hacking (or phreaking as the kids these days call it.) Also, Maltz is a penis. Now, this is not the Maltz who is the Klingon from Star Trek 3, played by John Larroquette, but some loser at their school.

Why bomb with live weapons when you can drop inert weapons?

The techs in charge of RIPLEY shoot the breeze in Washington DC. We learn about FIGJAM – Frak I’m Good, Just Ask Me! Except not Frak. We also learn that a bald guy with horn rim glasses who gets annoyed at everything and everyone. He explains RIPLEY to a bunch of telecommuting generals, and to the audience watching the DVD. RIPLEY uses a computer game on an internet site to identify terrorists because only terrorists play high-stakes internet games. These terrorists earned three million dollars that was paid, then they get Predator-bombed! Believe it or not. Think about that the next time your friend sends you a link to a new flash game! It’s like The Last Starfighter except instead of aliens, Jack Thompson lobbied to have you blown up instead. To prevent video game violence. Also, RIPLEY totally wouldn’t drop a bomb on the US. No way, no how! At least until the third act, then cities will get threatened. Horn Rimmed Glasses is emphatic that we must tempt terrorists with sweet e-cash to blow them up. It is the only way to defeat terrorists, because they are 100% attracted to internet games. Osama’s addiction to World of Warcraft is his only weakness.

Back to high school. One class there is a class where you play chess in the library while watching reports of Kasparov vs. Deep Blue. And this makes hot blonde girls fall in love with you, while you just happen to be in the library looking up random books. Join the chess club and get laid. Before Will Farmer can act on his new pending love, Annie, he must stalk her on the internet! Facebook, still Facebook, seriously, all this hacker can find is her Facebook? Do some credit checking or something, hacker! But thanks for the alt-pop song playing while he stalks (and his buddy Dennis sleeps right next to him. Does Dennis have a home?) Will tries to hack her password, and she had put up a video message just for him, telling him to come to the chess meet in Vancouver. What the frak?

Ani Di Franco? Run, Will, Run!!!

Will’s mom is a chemist who is fighting the glass ceiling while giving all her ideas to a giant corporation for no financial gain. And getting poisoned by the chemicals in the plant. She keeps chemical samples under the sink, which will factor into the plot later. Will’s neighbor’s computer is delivered to be fixed again, because the neighbor’s evil brother is using his bank account to deposit money. Did I mention this neighbor is….MIDDLE EASTERN!!!

We got illegal money stuffed into a Middle Eastern immigrant’s account, so let’s us it to play on the new RIPLEY gaming site for high stakes! Will, why do you listen to your friend Dennis? The RIPLEY Website talks like a porn star begging for the schlong, demanding that men play with her. Let’s play….Global Thermo Nuclear War? Nah, The Dead Code! That sounds much cooler. After Dennis sneaks up the bet from $500 to $5000, we find out that The Dead Code is basically fly a Predator drone around a city while dropping poison gas. Meanwhile, Ripley starting to track him, because one person playing a game once means he’s a terrorist and he must die.

Will gets to level five and kills 100,000 people in game (thanks to his mom helping him pick sarin gas) so RIPLEY cuts power to the entire city of Philadelphia. Makes sense. RIPLEY used this time to install spyware in Will’s computer. With the power out. RIPLEY reboots the city, and the computer comes back on already booted up with the RIPLEY website loaded up and demanding more play. And they spy on him using his webcam, while also closing the neighbor’s bank account. That wouldn’t let any terrorist know you are on to him! Unplugging the computer doesn’t stop the torrent of “Play with me, baby!” from RIPLEY as she starts texting Will this right after. Nothing suspicious at all.

The neighbor is ganked by secret agents with untraceable plates on their car, but leaves Will a ton of money. Because that’s what guys from the Middle East do. Will can go on the chess trip and get laid, only at the airport Dennis taken by agent guys, and the plane flies to Montreal without him. Mom is snatched also, along with her experimental chemicals which prove terror so it’s Guantanamo Bay time! Or not, as mom is sick and has to be taken to the hospital. The Quebec news shows her being arrested, and Will gets a text from Dennis to run, so he does. RIPLEY then goes lockdown crazy and ganks control of the computers from the tech team, Horn Rims Glasses thinks it will be good for budget. Lead tech Bill is not impressed. RIPLEY ups the bioalert level to 2.

Will is on the run, and Annie gets a text to get Dennis’s backpack, which was still on the plane. Will is gonna hack RIPLEY – believe it or not! Also, Annie runs into an old man for a second, but he won’t be important to the plot. Will hacks RIPLEY using a cyber cafe, and sees image of his mom sick and in hospital on life support. Also, the old guy is following them. RIPLEY traces Will to Montreal, which is impressive because they already know this thanks to Will buying a plane ticket and even taking his friend off the flight. Agents move in, we get a chase – cars vs. feet traffic, with an escape in the subway thanks to tossing a tracked cell phone onto a subway car. Annie is upset. Way to make your girlfriend cry and get trapped into Enemy of the State, except there is no Will Smith and that old guy didn’t look like Gene Hackman.

Back at RIPLEY Base, RIPLEY’s handlers are growing suspicious, and RIPLEY can lip read off of reflections (what computer can’t?) and figures this out, so she ups the bioterror threat levels. Damn Patriot Act being misused by computers! This was not the Founding Father’s intent! Will and Annie in the tunnel, chat a bit, blah blah.. Stephen Falken!??!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!??!?! WTF?? This movie just got 100x better! Annie tells us that Joshua was replaced by Ripley, Falken went crazy, and drove his truck off a bridge! He had remarried with a wife and two kids. Wait, Falken is dead???? This movie just got 1000x worse! What next, is Matthew Broderick a clown rapist? Telecommuting Generals are ticked at RIPLEY but do nothing, just like real generals! will and Annie are declared bioterrorists, and the old man tells them to meet him by his truck. Hmmm…..

The Old Man is Stephen Mother-Frakking Falken! This movie just got 1,000,000x better!!!!

Dr. Stephen Falken (Gary Reineke) – He faked his death and hides from the government, watching out for RIPLEY’s mistakes after she replaced WOPR/Joshua. Remarried with two kids, who think he is dead, and dying from pancreatic cancer. Rescues the kids from the watchful eye of RIPLEY and prepares to fight back!

Falken also knew Will’s dad and that he was really helping the government look for downed F16 pilots in Bosnia, and may have been infected by bioweapons. RIPLEY starts trying to kill off her technicians, one gets coma-ed thanks to a Ripley changing lights at a crosswalk (because drivers are blind in this universe) Falken takes them to who will help beat RIPLEY….it’s Joshua! WOPR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Joshua/WOPR (Colm Feore) – The computer from the first film returns to do battle with RIPLEY, who has gone off her gourd and will try to destroy the universe. Will he be able to teach her that the only winning move is not to play? Will he want a nice game of chess?

WOPR is old school and slow, but Falken puts in a 5 1/4 floppy and Joshua suddenly becomes Super Computer Monster Crazy!!! That’s right, one 5 1/4 floppy makes the difference between a slow computer and the fastest in the world. Take that, Intel! Horn Rimmed Glasses has “the whole damn alphabet on his ass” demanding he shut down. – FBI, CIA, CDC, NSA; he ignores them. RIPLEY upgrades to bioterror level 4, shuts down all power to Philadelphia, and hijacks a Predator Drone armed with nukes in Afghanistan and starts flying it to the US. I didn’t know those drones had that much fuel. Also, RIPLEY can’t be shut down because impervious to human control. I guess the Predator is also impervious.

Joshua starts fighting back, hacking RIPLEY and playing games (chess and tic-tac-toe flash all over the screens at RIPLEY’s Base)
Power is starting to be restored to Philadelphia, but RIPLEY deploys the Predator to take out WOPR. Bill is upset because he knows it is Joshua and Falken and likes those guys. Joshua tells our heroes that Ripley sent a message to get out because: Obliteration!

Will and Annie (and the Russian Guy I forgot to mention) get out, but Falken stays in with WOPR, and the building is blown up, Falken and Joshua are killed, and everyone else is arrested. Also, Philly is in riots over the lack of power, while RIPLEY is declaring that 50% of Philly will die during decontamination, which takes place in 50 minutes. Decontamination means the whole city is blasted to dust. Will is brought to HQ, and uses the internet to call Dennis via the Stargate MMORPG to set up DDOS attack on RIPLEY. Technician Bill also helps, believe it or not!

RIPLEY knows that it is being DDOSed, but Will then realizes that Falken put Joshua inside of Ripley as well. By email. In the few seconds before he got blown up. (I will forgive this by saying since Falken was on the RIPLEY design team, he probably snuck Joshua in there, and just send a quick memory update right before he got toasted. The movie can thank me later for explaining this plot hole.) To get to Joshua, they need to force a prompt to appear, which can be done by shooting the glass that seals off RIPLEY from the rest of the world, as RIPLEY is in a CO2 filled room (because advanced computer would need their processor temperatures reduced so they don’t overheat…this movie owes me TWO now!) As for why don’t they just do that and rip out computer parts? Because Ripley will launch nukes on HQ if she thinks she’s under attack! Three. And that explanation is the stupidest one yet.

A prompt appears because shooting glass is easier than typing “RUN” then “CMD”. They reach Joshua (Hooray!!!), and the combined effort stops the countdown thanks to help of lots of random internet players who help overload the RIPLEY website due to a multi-million dollar prize just announced. The day is saved…not!, as RIPLEY partitions and shuts down Joshua. Eat it, RIPLEY! RIPLEY will use the Predator to nuke DC now! Thank goodness we are putting live nukes on unmanned drones…

The day will be saved thanks to….Suicide Chess!!!! That’s right, win by losing! Will revives Joshua and tells him about Russian Roulette. But the text he enters talks about whipped cream. WTF? Oh, they just copy/pasted this website. We then run out nuclear scenarios on the screen much like the original movie, except this time with better graphics. And no one wins any of the exchange scenarios, like the original movie. RIPLEY freaks out and then everything turns to black right when the predator drone is ready to nuke.

Joshua asks: “Are we still playing?” and RIPLEY responds: “A strange game, the only winning move is not to play.”

Cheer, fools! The computer just learned what the other computer learned, because this has now become the same film! Anyway, after all this, Will asks Joshua if he really would have nuked DC: “Yes, the human race is finished. That was humor. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.”

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. indeed! Thus we end, without Will getting reunited with his sick mom or even caring, because he’s kissing Annie.

Anyway, I have to go, as I just scored 7000 points in Frogger, and — BOOOM!!!!! RIPLEY blew up my house! Damn you, RIPLEY!

Believe it or not!

Rated 6/10 (You can’t stop, MIDDLE EASTERN!!!, Penis, This guy should have looked both ways, this woman should learn to start her own chemical company, Hacking the Planet!)

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

Runs this joint!