Swordfish seems to have its technology all above-board. Sure, cracking into a government system in 60 seconds, in a crowded nightclub and receiving a blowjob is a bit lofty. The balance of the hacker gymnastics in this film may not be grounded in sound technological data, but it’s not laughable like many of the other techniques in the film.
However, the premise that Travolta and Co. could embezzle $9.5 billion dollars from the US government WITHOUT GETTING CAUGHT is a pretty absurd leap to make. Granted, they just keep pretending to blow themselves up, and the government goes “Oh. They’re dead now.” But I’m guessing that the US would exercise a little due diligence.
Also, the fact that this film came out about four months before 9/11 makes it and its technologies seem as though they come from a different era. To think that Al-Qaeda henchmen could be hacking into the government from a Manhattan nightclub is pretty damn unfathomable.
Also: Halle Berry’s breasts.
To be fair, the concept of being “online” in 1983 would have been foreign to most every person in America, including many who probably worked on WarGames. Because it happened in the nascence of the computer age, we’re willing to forgive the myriad errors this movie makes. However, hindsight (and a dose of common sense) tells us that a kid probably wouldn’t be able to change his grades in high school via computer, much less accidentally set off a global nuclear holocaust.
The premise of WarGames is that humans can’t be trusted to determine if and when the United States should implement a nuclear attack, so we logically put all that power and responsibility on a software program. It turns out the software is really, really stupid, and it recognizes a teenager playing a game as a nuclear threat.
The program is finally “taught” that no one wins in a nuclear showdown, and of course they teach the computer this lesson by having it play tic-tac-toe over and over again. Which I would think would just piss it off more, but that’s why I’m not a software programmer from the early 1980’s. Or AM I?