The Game (1997)

Michael Douglas is back in the genre that best becomes him, as an 
emotionally aloof investment banker whose meticulously controlled 
universe begins to unravel after he accepts a birthday gift from 
his lower-living brother (Sean Penn).  Said gift is a game-- an 
elaborate, anything-can-happen mindfuck that's custom fit to the 
recipient's physical and psychological states.  What's the objec-
tive?  What exactly is supposed to happen?  No one is willing to 
talk.  Not the former players, not the game's administrators, and 
not even the CNN financial reporter that begins talking to Douglas' 
character through the television set in his living room!  Get the 

Frankly, I found THE GAME to be a bit of a bore.  Somewhere between 
the intriguing opening and the richly satisfying final act, my eyes 
began to glaze over.  Maybe it's the pacing-- twists and turns that 
come a little too fast to be fully savored.  Maybe it's the steril-
ity of the events and how nothing *really* sinister happens for an 
awfully long time.  Or, maybe it's just my overactive imagination, 
which was busy trying to fit what I already knew about the movie-- 
admittedly too much to begin with-- into the right box inside of 
the right box inside of the right box.  Douglas is great.  Director 
David Fincher (SEVEN, ALIEN 3) is great.  Tech credits are superb.  
All that's missing is the disclaimer:  "foreknowledge of this movie 
may hamper its enjoyment."  (Rated "R"/128 min.)

Grade: B

Copyright 1997 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: September 14, 1997

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