The Game

Tucson Weekly

DIRECTED BY: David Fincher

REVIEWED: 10-06-97

This is perhaps the world's longest episode of Fantasy Island. Instead of flying to the tropics, though, rich, bored executives pay big bucks to have a mysterious company deliver custom-made thrills to their doorsteps. Wealthy, bored, empty, hollow-eyed industrialist Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is given a gift certificate to play the game by his black sheep of a brother; not surprisingly, things quickly get out of hand. Not surprisingly, he learns a little something about himself and his capacities as he engages in a series of dangerous adventures that seem designed to break his sanity. If you can stomach the sheer emptiness of The Game, and if you're not pre-disposed to paranoid episodes, this movie is kind of fun. It's so random and senseless that the lurches of the game, as Van Orton plays, are unexpected and jarring, sometimes in a good way. Michael Douglas gives a polished, subtly humorous performance, and director David Fincher has a way of making everything look expensive and shiny. Of course, savvy movie watchers will realize this movie, like every movie, is all fantasy, and that any debate over what's "part of" and "not part of" the game on screen is the kind of absurd speculation that makes computers explode on Star Trek.


The Game

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