THE GAME

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JUNE 29, 2013

With David Fincher at the helm, of course, “The Game” is dark, gritty, and engaging. The dark streets and even darker characters scream Fincher’s directing style and deliver a different take on the suspense thriller. Michael Douglas takes control of his spiraling name, Nicholas Van Orton, like no one else can, bringing shades of his Oscar-winning performance of Gordon Gekko to a darker and more suspenseful level. What “The Game” lacks in cohesion and believability makes up for immersing plot developments and twisting logic.

Fincher’s third film’s bright spot is the complex nature of all the elements, creating a world that not even the audience is sure what’s real and what’s not, until the bitter end. We’re told from the start that this will all be a game, but as we start cycling through personal hits and conspiracy theories, we are not so sure anymore. Everyone has their part to play, and they play it wonderfully, especially Sean Penn and Deborah Kara Unger, who both spin a web of false truths and unexpected turns, with hints of “Vanilla Sky” and “The Truman Show” all mixed into one. Fincher knows his strengths and weaknesses and, in doing so, develops a strong feature film, matching the style of his previous work but breaking the boundaries of the genres he chooses to explore.

RELEASE DATE
September 12, 1997

DIRECTOR
David Fincher

WRITTEN BY
John Brancato
Michael Ferris

STUDIO
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

R
(for language, and for some violence and sexuality)

ACTION
DRAMA
MYSTERY

THRILLER
129 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Harris Savides

COMPOSER
Howard Shore

EDITOR
James Haygood

CAST
Michael Douglas
Sean Penn
James Rebhorn
Deborah Kara Unger
Peter Donat
Carroll Baker
Armin Mueller-Stahl

PRODUCED BY
Steve Golin
Ceán Chaffin

BUDGET
$70 million

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