Movie Stats & Links
||Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger
Leave them at home.
They might hold your hand.
Some bras and stuff, but nothing gratuitous.
Ditto the violence comment.
Just the ending.
The ending, because I hated it.
Conrad: "This is a nice restaurant - they gave me this
jacket." Nicholas: "They'll want it back."
Steve Goling, Cean Chaffin
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."
A Movie Review
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
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
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!!!