HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
   
 
  Game, The Michael Only Pawn In Game Of Life
Year: 1997
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger, James Rebhorn, Peter Donat, Carroll Baker, Anna Katarina, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Elizabeth Dennehy, Kimberly Russell, Tommy Flanagan, John Cassini, Yuji Okumoto, Mark Boone Junior, Linda Manz, Jack Kehoe
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is not the nicest man in the world, but then he didn't get where is today by being a pleasant businessman, he did it by taking his late father's inheritance and becoming a ruthless businessman. In spite of his apparent cool under the pressure of international finances, the fact his father committed suicide by jumping from the roof of the family mansion still eats away at him, though he has learned to keep his deepest feelings in check, and has done ever since he was a child. His brother Conrad (Sean Penn) is a different matter - and he has a birthday present for him.

Part of the run of paranoid thrillers which raced out of the nineties and informed the cinematic landscape of the next century, The Game was director David Fincher putting his mark of quality on a suspense piece which very much became his signature material. Yet while there were those in the audience dazzled by the virtuoso display of keeping the main character in the dark for the greater part of the running time, once it was all resolved there was a vocal number of viewers who complained that this was no way to end a film which had been barrelling along so strongly, if something this weirdly glacial and elegant could be legitimately described as "barrelling along".

What it came across as was a puzzle box of a movie inspired by John Frankenheimer's cult classic science fiction-horror hybrid Seconds, except with a different tone to the middle section and the finale, as if nobody was satisfied with the sixties' effort and its relentlessly bleak conclusion and opted to swap it with the more optimistic ambience of the central premise. Therefore if you were watching the Game all the way through and anticipating some chilly denouement to accompany a confounding build up, you would be equally confounded by the manner in which events resolved themselves. For a start, the question "Have you all gone completely insane?!" would have figured largely on most people's lips.

Not here though, as if the experience has been a method of teaching Van Orton the morals that he lacked at the beginning, where we understand he has shut everyone out of his life other than to deal with them professionally: he is adrift from any wife, girlfriend, children and his only family is the often absent Conrad, who has his own addiction issues to deal with. But then there's that present, celebrating Nicholas' forty-eighth birthday with something for the man who has everything, a lifestyle game not unlike an elaborate version of those dodgy companies who would kidnap you for your own pleasure just so you could have the fun of being abducted without the less fun of having a finger cut off and sent through the mail or whatever.

Van Orton must visit the company offices and undergo a series of physical and psychological tests (a nod to all-time great paranoia favourite The Parallax View), then sign on the dotted line whereupon he will receive his gift. This turns out to be nightmare material for a control freak, with his life taken over by these shadowy services who get up to such mindfuckery as placing a clown doll on his driveway which has a hidden camera inside, then getting his television to talk to him. If this doesn't sound like Derren Brown's choice of evening viewing on his night off, then what does? Soon Nicholas is going through Hell as nothing is what it seems and it appears the company have gotten out of hand in their efforts to give him the time of his life, including shooting at him and drugging him - except that if you twigged early on all of this was, if not real, then a cold set up then you'd have trouble getting quite as fooled as our anti-hero was. Besides, the suspension of disbelief required by the final twist was too much to bear, no matter how slick the presentation. Music by Howard Shore.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2280 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

David Fincher  (1962 - )

American director who brings roving camerawork and a surface gloss to dark subjects. Moving on from advertising and videos (including Madonna's "Vogue"), he had a bad experience directing Alien 3, but went from strength to strength thereafter with horror hit Seven, thrillers The Game and Panic Room, and cult black comedy Fight Club. Zodiac was a true life police procedural on the eponymous serial killer, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button an endurance test of fantasy tweeness, The Social Network detailed the unlovely background behind Facebook and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a remake of the Scandinavian thriller. With an adaptation of the bestselling novel Gone Girl, he was awarded one of his biggest hits. He then moved to a "golden handcuffs" deal with streaming service Netflix, creating hit series Mindhunter and Citizen Kane biopic Mank.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: