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The Game


You know how some films could be great or have indeed some great moments, but for some reason, are disappointing? This piece is exactly in that category. It’s about a millionaire, played by Michael Douglas in the usual Douglas arrogant, mean, bitter asshole fashion. He’s rich and successful, but that’s only in business. He’s divorced and he has no real friends. He’s also still perturbed by his father’s suicide. One day, on his 48th birthday, he receives the visit of his brother, played by the excellent Sean Penn. He gives him a really unusual birthday present: the opportunity to take part in a really creepy game. Things get messy as Douglas’ character meets weird people, get into lots of trouble and has to fight for his life. It all leads to some cool twists and an unexpected finale that I won’t reveal here.

The film’s original and well written enough, but the screenwriter made a big mistake. I think he shouldn’t have told us that it was all a game in the beginning. That way, the film would have been much more creepy and intriguing, as we would try to figure out why Douglas is being played with like that. But here, we know it’s an act. When Douglas is in a shitty situation, you’re not wondering if he’s gonna survive cause you know it’s all part of a sick role-playing game. David Fincher is a very good director, but he did a better job on his previous film, “Se7en”. This thriller also had a startling finale, but it was preceded by an equally gripping story.

“The Game” is basically an exercise of style. It features all kind of thrilling set-ups but they often seem pointless. The film does have some really cool scenes, but I wouldn’t call it riveting. You know, it’s like a half-baked David Lynch film, as if “Lost Highway” was produced by one of the big studios. Lynch achieves to really mess our minds up, while Fincher just goes into slight oddness. Another downside is Michael Douglas. He’s not really interesting or likable in this film, so we care even less about his well-being. “The Game”‘s a mildly enjoyable film that is probably worth seeing, but it’s not the great film that it could have been.