WarGames: The Dead Code

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WarGames: The Dead Code
DVD cover
Directed by Stuart Gillard
Produced by Irene Litinsky
Screenplay by Randall Badat
Story by
  • Rob Kerchner
  • Randall Badat
Based on Characters
by Lawrence Lasker
Walter Parkes
Music by John Van Tongeren
Cinematography Bruce Chun
Edited by Robin Russell
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • July 29, 2008 (2008-07-29)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English

WarGames: The Dead Code is a 2008 American direct-to-video thriller film and the sequel to the 1983 film WarGames. It was written by Randall Badat and Rob Kerchner and directed by Stuart Gillard. Production began on November 20, 2006 in Montreal, and the film was released on DVD on July 29, 2008. According to MGM's original press release, the film is budgeted as one in a series of direct-to-DVD sequels.[1]


Computer whiz kid Will Farmer's (Matt Lanter) neighbor Massude comes to Will having a problem with his computer. Will takes the computer and hooks his own up to it and discovers that Massude's brother is using his online banking to make huge profits. Since he needs $550 to go on a chess trip, Will steals $500 from Massude's account to gamble on an online gaming site that uses games that are based on terrorist attacks. Will later discovers that his best friend Dennis changes it to $5000. He ends up winning $25,000, with the aid of his mother, who knows about biological agents. Little does he know that the online game he plays is actually part of a sophisticated piece of U.S. government spyware designed to find potential terrorists based on how well they perform and bet on the games. The spyware program is run by a new, advanced artificial intelligence system called RIPLEY (an acronym that is not explained in the film, nor by its makers), which has ultimate control over every American electronic system in order to combat terrorism.

Homeland Security, now believing Farmer to be a terrorist, sets out to apprehend him. During Will's return home one day he finds Massude is being arrested on account of suspected terrorism, and gives Will an envelope full of cash as payment, which he uses to finance his trip. Unknown to him and Homeland Security, RIPLEY is misinterpreting the data and is overreacting to the situation. On his arrival to the airport, he finds that there is an abnormally large number of security guards. He manages to slip away and meets up with his friend Annie.

In the streets, he manages to crack the government network, only to be found by the police, and as Annie pointed out, a man in an overcoat. The cops chase the couple until they get lost in the subway systems. Will manages to find a way out, and they meet the man who was watching them from the doorway, he says that he nearly started World War III, and to meet them at his truck. He is revealed to be Professor Falken, who had helped design RIPLEY. They travel to a small power plant outside a dam (during the trip, Will and Professor talk about the sensitive points of the past of each one, revealed before the trip to the power plant), where the professor shows them a dilapidated computer called WOPR (War Operation Plan Response) from the original WarGames film, which is operating the power grid at only 5% of its potential efficiency. Professor Falken had designed this computer to aid in the planning of a global thermonuclear war if it was needed. Falken re-activates WOPR with his backdoor password "Joshua" (the name of Falken's deceased son as well as the name the professor uses to refer to the AI that is WOPR). Meanwhile, RIPLEY is led to believe that Philadelphia has been hit by a bioterrorist attack and decides to halt the spread of the bioweapon by hijacking a Predator drone with missiles and a nuclear warhead on board and use it to destroy the city.

Falken instructs Joshua to attack RIPLEY with a faux script full of cultural references.[2] Joshua starts flooding RIPLEY's system with games, which seem to be overloading the system, but then RIPLEY shuts down and reboots to successfully rid herself of the games.

Rebooted, RIPLEY redirects the Predator drone, which she uses to destroy the facility housing Joshua. Joshua warns the professor that RIPLEY's advancing attack would result in obliteration; so Will and Annie flee the facility just before it gets blown up by the drone's missile, with the professor, who was dying from pancreatic cancer remaining in the building at the time, last seen typing extremely fast, finishing with something that looks like an "Enter", and saying "Goodbye, Joshua".

The couple are arrested by Homeland Security and taken to the room where RIPLEY is stored, only to find that she has taken control over the system, and they discover that Professor Falken has transferred Joshua via an email (having changed the backdoor password to "Max", which was the name of the real Joshua's teddy bear) to them to help them stop RIPLEY. They first try to use WOPR and internet users to stage a denial of service attack, which causes RIPLEY to overload. RIPLEY, knowing that she has been compromised by WOPR, decides to self-destruct by launching a nuclear warhead at Washington D.C.. Annie remembers a chess game known as "Suicide Chess" where if you win you lose. Will programs WOPR to play Russian Roulette, where the goal is to lose as opposed to winning. They again pit WOPR against RIPLEY by granting him access to one of six American nuclear launch codes. RIPLEY and WOPR play through two nuclear attack scenarios both resulting in total annihilation; however, the codes for those missiles are unavailable. The third scenario presented is a nuclear attack on Washington D.C. Having learned the concept of futility presented by playing a game where if you win you die, RIPLEY stops responding after the scenario is played out, also resulting in total annihilation, and the weapon is available. Joshua asks if they are still playing at which point she says, "A strange game. The only winning move is not to play", just as Joshua had said at the end of the original film after learning how to play Tic-Tac-Toe.

After RIPLEY relinquishes control, Will asks WOPR if he really would have launched the missiles if RIPLEY had decided to continue playing. WOPR replies, "Yes, the human race is finished." before revealing, "That was humor."


  • Matt Lanter as Will Farmer
  • Amanda Walsh as Annie D'Mateo
  • Colm Feore as T. Kenneth Hassert, and Voice of WOPR ("Joshua")
  • Chuck Shamata as Bill Carter
  • Maxim Roy as Tina Rashe
  • Nicolas Wright as Dennis Nichols
  • Gary Reineke as Stephen Falken
  • Susan Glover as Gail Farmer
  • Trevor Hayes as Agent Aaron Scott
  • Claudia Ferri as Agent Bolton
  • Vlasta Vrána as Ivan Prokosh
  • Ricky Mabe as Newman
  • Claudia Black as Voice of RIPLEY
  • Russell Yuen as David Chen
  • Robert Higden as Mr. Baron
  • John Maclaren as Norman Paget
  • John Koensgen as Martin Cavanaugh
  • Alberto Delburgo as Sayid Massude
  • Lucinda Davis as Joleen Dupree
  • Neil Napier as Teacher
  • Matthew Raudsepp as Doug Maltz
  • Danny Blanco as The Groom
  • Alain C. Gauthier as Internet Café Guy
  • David Schaap as General Stradler
  • Jean-Robert Bourdage as Hot dog Vendor


  1. ^ "MGM Announces Its Straight-To-DVD Slate!". Movieweb.com. Archived from the original on April 30, 2007. 
  2. ^ WarGames: The Dead Code. Century City, Los Angeles, California, United States: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. 2008-07-29. Event occurs at 1 hr. 12 min. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 

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