HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  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 3649 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
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: