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To me, the most enjoyable aspect of WarGames is when David is at work on his computer system. There's something wonderfully nostalgic about watching a guy play with such antiquated machinery and recognize that it was [once] considered state-of-the-art.
What keeps it remarkably fresh is an unpatronising approach to what is ostensibly a kids' thriller, and a set of ideas (remember when Hollywood used them?) that rightly consign all the cradle modems and dot-matrix printers to the margins.
This inventive nail-biter is very much a product of its time -- blending the arms-race unease of the early 1980s with the beginning of the home-computer revolution -- but it still manages to both grip and entertain.
John Badham solders the pieces into a terrifically exciting story charged by an irresistible idea: an extra-smart kid can get the world into a whole lot of trouble that it also takes the same extra-smart kid to rescue it from.