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Movie Review

The Game

Reviewed by: Candace Holtsbery

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
115 min.
Year of Release:

Starring: Michael Douglas, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger, Armin Mueller-Stahl / Director: David Fincher / Released by: Polygram

Astonishingly, “The Game” was not as “dark” as expected—the twists and turns in the plot were well written, and the acting and overall cinematic quality keeps one’s interest for 2 hrs… even in a 20 minute attention-span world! Michael Douglas again proves himself an excellent actor and the supporting cast was perfect.

Douglas is Nicholas Van Orton—an uptight, haunted, lonely, and ruthless businessman with a classic black sheep brother, Conrad (Sean Penn). It is his brother who gives Nicholas his escapist gift from a strange company, Consumer Recreation Sources (CRS). Though leery at first, Nicholas redeems his gift of the game and now reality, insanity, and danger takeover his once very controlled life.

Who can be trusted? What is reality? It is one twist after another… even the TV speaks to him, and nothing is as it seems …or is it????

The movie has much subtle comic relief and there are times we all just know “now this is a fake,” or do we?? In spite of some implausible scenarios, the writers take us on an adventure that is mesmerizing, so get your popcorn first!! You just don’t want to miss anything! A great combo effort of actors, director and writers will keep you glued to the seat!

So as to not spoil the movie, I cannot reveal the end. But I can say you will talk about it (like Finchers' last movie “Seven” but nowhere near as dark or depressing) except for the vulgarities and some violence. There was over two dozen uses of the “f” word and other crude language, as well as a few instances of the Lord’s name being used quite improperly. Most adults will enjoy the movie without feeling “dirty”. While there is some nudity (one bare butt polaroid photo) and the overheard audio portion from an unseen porno video, they (like much else in this film) is not real—sex is not really implied, but rather a set-up.

While this movie isn’t for everyone (some Christians may take offense to this), it sure is a wild ride and worth the ticket price! If you are able to see this, you will enjoy it!

Viewer Comments
Your reviewer mentioned the appeal of this film was that the viewer was left wondering, “what is reality”? What kind of message does that send? In this post-modern world the main thing christians must fight against is relativism. This entire movie said you cannot be sure what you are seeing and feeling is real. Reality is relative. There is no way to determine reality. A Christian insists that since God has made us rationalistic, and He has revealed truth to us, we can know what is reality. This is the most relativistic message portrayed in a film in a long time. Christians should watch it, but just to expose the mindset most christians have already embraced. Watch and realize that you should think in a different way. You can truly know, and the rest of the world cannot.
—John Fox, age 18
Surely you jest! This movie good? Suspenseful? I beg to differ!… Forget all the other junk Michael Douglas' character was put through. Let’s concentrate on thinking you had shot your brother, then were driven to dive off a building, especially if that was how your father died when you were a child. Good grief folks, the writing wasn’t even good. It was totally useless and inane. What if the game didn’t get violent, but instead took the character through many of the other things, building on the suspense, but in the course of it he learned he had no soul, no compassion, and the game changed his life! This is where I thought it was going, especially since his brother said as much in the beginning. The ending was too ridiculous for words, I can’t believe this movie was made in this decade.
—Russell Lavender
This film can be summed up in one word “Wow!” I’ve seen more than a few this year that had me looking at my watch more than the screen-not this one! A solid mix of suspense and comic relief, this movie is guaranteed to give you chills and make you think. Michael Douglas is once again fantastic. And yes, I too must add, what an ending!! This one’s worth the seven bucks!
—Dan Olivadoti, age 28
If you enjoy suspense movies this is the one to see. I’ve never gone back to the theater to see a movie I’d previously viewed. This may be an exception.
—Ben, age 31
The whole movie was great except for the end. The end was like a Michael Crighton book, the contents was good except the end was really stupid.
—Merice, age 14
I liked this the first time I saw it, when it was called “The Net,” and Sandra Bullock was in the Michael Douglas role. Where are all these positive “moviemaking” ratings coming from? It was a mediocre movie on both levels.
—Brian, age 24
THE GAME is excellent! It is the ultimate mind trip. It’s one of those films where you take one of your friends to see it just to enjoy their reaction. I was on the edge of my seat until the ending… and boy what an ending! The ending was the most original I’ve seen in years. I had a great time. One of 97’s best in my book!
—Chris Utley, age 24
This movie was great… until the ending. How stupid do directors and producers think we are? The ending was totaly unbelievable and ridiculous. The build up to the ending created intense suspense but it was like a surprise party where no one showed up. Save your money!
—Steven Hanson, age 49