This inventive, tongue-in-cheek comedy-drama not only reveals the charms of the Estonian countryside, but something of director (Kaljo Kiisk)'s sense of amusement as well. The hero of the title, Toomas Nipernaadi (Tonu Kark) is first seen roaming the rural landscape, going from village to village looking for the woman of his dreams. He wears a bedraggled white suit but generously pays for any lodging he needs or in one case, even buys a farm. Nipernaadi has a way with words and enchants those he meets with his wild stories about himself. Women find him appealing and the men are entertained as he moves from one locale to the next. But his idyll looks like it will end -- at least for awhile -- when his wife shows up in an expensive car and explains exactly what has been going on.
The film portrays a fictional nuclear war between NATO forces and the Warsaw Pact that rapidly escalates into a full scale exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union, focusing on the residents of Lawrence, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as several family farms situated next to nearby nuclear missile silos.
High School student David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) has a talent for hacking. But while trying to hack into a computer system to play unreleased video games, he unwittingly taps into the Defense Department's war computer and initiates a confrontation of global proportions! Together with his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy) and a wizardly computer genius (John Wood), David must race against time to outwit his opponent.