feedingbrett’s review published on Letterboxd:
Included In Lists:
Criterion Collection - #627
Review In A Nutshell:
The Game is the story of a man who signs himself up for a mysterious game that eventually gets a bit out of hand and starts to affect all aspects of his life
I found the film's premise to be highly intriguing. It immediately hooked me from the start with its developed leading character and situations that built high levels of suspense and mystery. The adventure that our protagonist embarks on is for the most part interesting, it is during certain scenes during the middle passages that make the film feel a tad underwhelming, lacking the punch in character development and with events that is only carried by its mysterious and suspenseful atmosphere, having me forget about the foundation of the character that was established during the first act. Luckily, the third act saves the film with a climax that would have you raging on your seat in excitement and confusion. It wraps itself up in a highly satisfying way that actually manages to tell something important. The film's third act also allows us to come back to this film with a new perspective, urging us to dig deeper and observe for tiny elements that wasn't abundantly clear during the first walk-through.
The film's photography was impressive with its dynamic shots, preventing the film from slowing down and constantly maintains its smooth style. Seeing the camerawork in this film made me feel conscious of being manipulated, which isn't a negative for a film of this nature. The film's unobtrusive score seems to create this horror atmosphere rather than the styles typically found in suspense/mystery films, and I think this was a great choice as it allows the audience to feel the sense of paranoia and danger that lurks in every corner, knowing that the protagonist is under the mercy of a force that he cannot control. Its impact is felt more in a psychological level rather than a physical level, the same feeling that I felt when I hear the score in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.
The acting in this film was wonderful, carried by the talented Michael Douglas. I have to be honest and say that this would be my first experience of witnessing the acting capability of Michael Douglas in a feature film, the only other thing I have seen the actor in is a guest star in Will and Grace, which I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him in. This film didn't completely convince me that the actor is worthy of the praise he receives and that is definitely understandable because this is not a film that demands much from its actors, instead its power is found in its storytelling and style. That being said, Douglas was still great here, carrying us along an adventure that I don't think anybody would ever forget, regardless of how they feel about the film.
I do apologise with my lack of depth in this review as I personally don't feel it would be right for me as of yet to give this a thorough analysis before I give it at least another run through, and I don't think it would be fair for me to provide even the smallest of plot details in the film as a lot of its power comes in the element of surprise, and that is definitely something I don't want anybody reading this to be deprived of. Overall, The Game is a solid entry in Fincher's filmography that only slightly falls short in comparison to his other works.