I Watched… (#52)

3 May

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The Game (1997)

When a rich but cold and lonely businessman, Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas), receives a strange present from his brother Conrad (Sean Penn), his whole life is turned upside down as he begins playing ‘The Game’.

A subdued performance by Douglas doesn’t help a film which doesn’t really kick into gear until the final act, where twists and turns bring the film to its thrilling conclusion. For most of the screen-time though, his character is annoying, constantly wandering into daft situations (when he knows he has signed up for ‘The Game’) and hurting his hands – an oddly common theme. Plagued with ‘what-ifs’ that undermine the film, The Game has a brilliant premise but is rather poorly handled by, the usually brilliant, David Fincher.

An unexpected finale raises this film above mediocrity, though it is a far cry from Fincher’s other memorable works (Se7en, Fight Club). Mysterious and thrilling enough to justify a brief mention in Fincher’s canon, but it could have been so much more.

7/10

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