The Game (1997)

game

Businessman Michael Douglas is powerful and wealthy but joyless and emotionally distant, so his mischievous younger brother Sean Penn buys him a part in a real life role-playing game that quickly spirals out of control.

David Fincher’s follow up to Seven contains the dark, brooding atmosphere and slick visuals you’d expect, and his assured direction combined with the perfectly cast Douglas compliment an intriguing premise. The story constantly wrong foots you as you are never quite sure what is “real” which makes for a very interesting off beat concept for a thriller. Unfortunately, The Game’s script is one of those that just does not know when to stop and gets a little too twist happy for its own good; upon the first twist in the tale, I was enjoying the film immensely. When the second came along, I though “OK, I’ll bite.” as it was still interesting – if a little implausible – reminding me a little of mind bending 1960’s TV show The Prisoner. But when twist three reared its head I was beginning to lose patience, and “implausible” swiftly gave way to “preposterous”.

The Game is certainly a very well made film, but your enjoyment will hinge on just how much disbelief you can suspend; personally, by the end I was finding it all just a little to hard to swallow.

6/10

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