Release Date
September 12, 1997
David Fincher
John Brancato
Michael Ferris
Distributed By
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
$50 million
Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Rated R for language, and for some violence and sexuality
129 minutes

The Game

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 delivers a different take on the suspense thriller. Michael Douglas takes control of his spiraling character, 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, it makes up for in immersing plot developments and twisting logic.

The bright spot of Fincher’s third film is the convoluted 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.


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