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The Game
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Polygram Films
Kiddie Movie: Leave them at home.
Date Movie: They might hold your hand.
Gratuitous Sex: Some bras and stuff, but nothing gratuitous.
Gratuitous Violence: Seemingly so.
Action: Ditto the violence comment.
Laughs: Just the ending.
Memorable Scene: The ending, because I hated it.
Memorable Quote: Conrad: "This is a nice restaurant - they gave me this jacket." Nicholas: "They'll want it back."
Directed By: David Fincher
Produced By: Steve Goling, Cean Chaffin

The Game
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 2:08 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
Thinking back to many of the crappy birthday presents I've gotten in my lifetime, I guess they weren't too crappy after all. Hell, none of mine involved getting shot at, plunging my car into the ocean, meeting a good looking babe, or losing all of my money, so I guess they weren't that bad, although the meeting a good looking babe would be a welcome gift. But those are some of the things involved in the birthday gift given to Michael Douglas in the movie "The Game."

Douglas plays Nicholas Van Orton, a rich dude making his bucks off of investment banking, whose only real pleasure in life is his money because his wife left him, his dad committed suicide, and well, basically, this guy has no fun and no life. Enter his brother, Conrad (Sean Penn), who gives him this birthday gift, a game played in real life, but Nicholas has no clue exactly what it is. This is no fun game, though, this is a virtual reality nightmare come to life, and he isn't sure when it would start. It started, though, with a clown dummy, face-down in his driveway, which opens the door to a few days of not knowing anyone he can trust. Most everyone is lying to him and he isn't sure exactly who, and before you know it, his life of no life is filled with gunfire, a babe, speeding cars, phone taps, and being buried alive. Sure, it's kind of goofy, and maybe not really believable, but as much as it had Nicholas wondering who his friends really were, I kept trying to put the pieces together, but missed a few.

Douglas has the gist of all of the action, the rest of the players jump in and out of this film, but each of them play their parts great. You've got Penn playing a long-lost brother who checks into his sibling's life once a year, usually by arranging dinner between the two under the name Seymor Butts. Then there is Christine, played by Deborah Kara Unger, who manipulates Nicholas just enough that one minute you think she is the greatest thing next to sliced bread, the next you're convinced she is setting him up, and the next you think she's great again. From his ex-wife to his lawyer, everyone seems to have a part in this "game," and in the end it all comes out.

And speaking of this ending, what's with the happy crap that keeps coming out of the studios. I mean, come on, you gave me a great movie that kept me guessing and even shocked that Nicholas made it through most of the game alive, and then you don't have him die, or at least his brother. You directors and producers out there, if you want a movie that's shocking, well, have this character you tortured throughout the entire film bite the big one. I won't ruin the ending for you, the reader, but I found myself, no wait, actually I found most of the audience laughing a "Oh, come on…" as Nicholas survived his last test. For me it ruined a perfectly good suspense film.

So, my hint to the moviegoers is this: Sit on the isle and after Nicholas shoots Conrad, hurry up and leave the theater. Don't look back, cover your ears, and the movie will have ended in a shocker. Just my suggestion.

All in all I really enjoyed this movie until the last ten-ish minutes. Another happy cliché, and a star drops from this rating. It's 3 stars out of 5. Would have been four, but I shouldn't have left this movie happy Nicholas is alive, I should have left saying "I can't believe he's dead."

That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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