The Game

Austin Chronicle

DIRECTED BY: David Fincher

REVIEWED: 03-30-98

Two hours is about all of Fincher's (Seven) brooding atmosphere you'll be able to take before you want to strangle yourself. I don't know how Michael Douglas did it, much less how he managed to keep himself alive and kicking through one torment after another, all of which may or may not be a fantasy "game" his brother (Penn) has enrolled him in. In The Game (officially, a big bomb at the 1997 box office), Douglas plays an uber-rich tycoon who has everything he could want and is bored to tears with all of it. When kid brother promises the game will fill in what's lacking in his life, Mikey finds himself drawn to it, and a labyrinthine all-too-realistic game of murder, deceit, and betrayal begins. Set in San Francisco, I find this city full enough of intrigue even without machine gun-toting assassins and attack dogs chasing me around back alleys. And I can't imagine what I'd do if a cabbie drove me right into San Francisco Bay... but I suppose that's why you have to watch the video. As a thriller, The Game is the work of a craftsman, but be warned: don't even try to think about the plot lest it break down before your very eyes. Instead, just think to yourself, "don't ever let this happen to me." You'll thank me later.

--Christopher Null

The Game

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The Game
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Capsule Reviews
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