2/16/12

THE GAME - REVIEW


How I missed a film like The Game all these years is beyond me.

Ok, I'll admit I rarely flock to Michael Douglas movies but this is one of the good ones. Douglas plays a cold, wealthy financier whose brother's (Sean Penn) birthday present turns out to be one hell of a mind-f***. What follows is a thrilling descent into madness and although the ending doesn't exactly live up to the incredible build-up preceding it, it's all about the ride and David Fincher proves just how brilliant he is at keeping his viewers on the edge of their seat right up until the very last shot.

This is a film which does remarkably well when it comes to keeping the viewer guessing throughout whilst always being one step ahead. By the end, Michael Douglas may be understandably emotionally devastated but we're left still expecting one more trick up the movie's sleeve. Like a final mega-twist or something. This doesn't really happen but like I said: it's all about the ride. And what a ride it is. This is one game that makes Jumanji look like Hungry Hungry Hippos.

It's the subtle touches and ominous revelations that make The Game such fun. Michael Douglas is terrific in the main role and although it's initially surprising that a man this seemingly unsympathetic would agree to play a "game" he knows nothing about, you soon find out that there is more to his character than previously assessed. The man's emotional rollercoaster is handled with finesse and his Scrooge-like personality changes (assuming these actually happen) are never rubbed in our faces. Instead, we are left to figure things out for ourselves, notice clues, think about events rationally or irrationally, it's all good.

Not wanting to reveal too much of the plot, I will leave it at that. Suffice it to say that The Game is very good: gripping, exciting, creative, smart, stylish, surreal... it's Fincher at his most fun and sadistic.

Definitely a game worth playing.

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