The Game

This is an archived article from my now-defunct NeonReviews website. Any qualities and/or information provided about the reviewed item must be seen in context of when it was originally published.

Distributor: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Genre: Thriller
Additional information: Internet Movie Database (IMDb) entry

A masterpiece thriller starring Michael Douglas as the despicable financier Nicholas Van Orton. What do you give a man who has everything? For his birthday, his brother, played by Sean Penn, gives Nicholas a gift certificate from a company that designs games tailored to the participant. Nobody knows exactly what the game is all about, and the only rule of the game is to never ask what it’s all about either. Nicholas’ everyday life is influenced by this game, which turns out to become a nightmare.

And what a game it is. This one keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what the hell just happened, why, and leaves you just about as clueless as the main character. What is the game all about? And why does it seem like there’s something wrong with everything you see? That things are happening in your life that you can’t explain? All because of some stupid gift card. It’s a game of life and death, seen from the game participant’s point of view. Who’s in on it, and who are innocent bystanders?

Personally, I think the idea of such a game is intriguing. Unfortunately, this movie progresses a tad slow at times, but it makes up for it in the action and mystery moments. It even made me cry out of pure sympathy at the end (if you watch it, you’ll understand why).

Recommended to anyone who’s looking for a thrill.


Story interest: ★★★★★★ 

Plot development: ★★★★★☆ 

Characters: ★★★★★★ 

Credibility: ★★★★★★ 

Visual effects: ★★★★★★ 


Overall: ★★★★★★