Movie Review: The Game (1997)


As you probably know, I am a bit of a David Fincher fanboy. I love his movies, they are all (and by all I mean those that I have seen) really well done and really entertaining in some way. Hell, if you look at my top 10 movies of all time you notice that two of the movies on there are Fincher films. Anyway, time to review another one of his films and this time it is an early one.

Ladies and gents, time to play… “The Game”.

Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is a straight up asshole… and a businessman. One day his brother Conrad (Sean Penn) gives him a gift of what could essentially be called a gift card for something called “CRS”. It’s according to Conrad a company that will make your life more “fun”. So when Nicholas finally signs the contract and does a few evaluations… the game is on. And from that his life takes a turn for the worse. The story for this movie is fantastic. It is suspenseful as all hell, it is well-crafted and it is very well paced. However I do have a problem with it that pulls it down a bit. My issue with the story (and movie in general) is the ending, I’m not gonna spoil it but I will say that it didn’t really work for this movie. Fun fact: director David Fincher didn’t like the ending either and felt that maybe he wasn’t the right director for this movie, and I respect him for that. Anyway, despite a lackluster ending, the story is really good.

The character of Nicholas Van Orton is interesting. Like I said, he is an asshole… but he is an interesting asshole, especially further along the movie. And Michael Douglas plays the role perfectly. Especially in parts where “The Game” itself has started, then he is just fantastic. He gives an intense and vulnerable performance in the movie and I think this might be the best I have ever seen him. Sean Penn is also great in the movie despite his limited screentime. Every actor in the movie in fact gives great performances… but Michael Douglas is the best.

The score for the movie was (like in Fincher’s previous movie “Se7en”) done by Howard Shore. And once again Shore delivers a haunting and suspenseful score that perfectly sets the mood for the movie it is used in. That is something I have noticed Shore being great at in general, setting the mood perfectly. He did it in “Se7en” and in the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” movies. And like I said, he perfectly nailed the desired feel here. It helps build the tension of the movie and it also helps hold the sense of dread that the movie wants to portray. And it is done perfectly.

Like I have stated a few times in this review already, this movie is directed by David Fincher (My favorite director). And here he proves that he is a fucking amazing director with fantastic control over the actors and the storytelling. The cinematography was done by Harris Savides who also did the cinematography for Fincher’s 2007 movie “Zodiac”. And he made it look fantastic in this movie.

This movie was pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 71% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on the movie has a score of 7,8/10.

“The Game” is a really good thriller with an excellent story, a fantastic lead performance from Michael Douglas, an excellent score by Howard Shore (Hey, that rhymed!) and fantastic direction by David Fincher. Sadly it is dragged down a bit by the not very good ending. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Game” is a 9,01/10. It is definitely worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “The Game” is now completed.

Are you ready to play?


One thought on “Movie Review: The Game (1997)

  1. Pingback: Version 1.0 (Paranoia 1.0, One Point O)

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