Ayden The NinjaPirateBear’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film #11 of my seemingly abandoned but really not 52 Years In "52 Weeks" Challenge
So this is one of the few (along with Benjamin Button, Gone Girl and Dragon Tattoo) Fincher films I'd yet to see when I decided to this little Fincher Marathon and even though this is lower in my Fincher rankings, this was still really good.
The concept is fantastic; this company provides clients with a personalised 'game' that is said to be life-changing. Our protagonist, Nicholas Van Orton (played excellently by Michael Douglas), is given this as a gift by his brother Conrad (Sean Penn, who is also excellent). As "The Game" unfolds, things twist and turn and unravel, and the whole time I was wondering what was going on. I don't mean that in a bad way, I really wanted to see what the story was behind it.
The film is captivating and I think a lot of that is due to the performances here. Both Douglas and Penn are good but the supporting cast are all great as well and it's not exactly a big name cast either, but there is a bunch of "hey, that guy is in this?" moments. I also wanna give credit to the score, which for the most part is very minimal but just features the heavy piano tones you would find in most detective films (forgive me if that's not the correct terminology, I am not musically inclined at all).
While the writing is pretty tight for the most part, it also leads me to my main complaint. To take this film seriously, you have to be willing to let go a few plot conveniences. There is just no way to explain around certain illogical happenings. In saying that, the best part about the writing is the fact you never actually know what is part of "The Game" and what isn't, right up until the credits roll. It's brilliant.
To sum up, this is absolutely worth a watch. It does start a little slow but it's very interesting the whole time and once things get going, it'll keep you on the edge of your seat for sure.