Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Michael Douglas, Deborah Kara Unger, Sean Penn
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’ve wanted to watch this movie ever since I saw ads for it in old Star Trek: The Next Generation comic books that I got. At the time, I had no idea who David Fincher was (he’s the director of Fight Club, Se7en, Zodiac, and a bunch of other good films), I think I just really liked the premise and the poster. That’s all you really need.
Michael Douglas is a wealthy banker who gets a strange birthday present from his estranged brother, Sean Penn. Apparently there’s a company that runs “The Game”, a real life action game, basically, which interweaves itself into your life. He finds himself ensnared in a web of intrigue as he loses all his money, is drugged, beaten, attacked, and otherwise has a hell of a time.
The plot twist that the climax of the story depends on is a bit obvious, but despite knowing where the thing is going, it’s still a nice ride. It works pretty well as a psychological thriller with action elements, and Michael Douglas is surprisingly good. Maybe it’s because I’m just used to his more recent work where he just phones everything in and doesn’t seem to give a shit, but I really liked how his character wasn’t some happy-go-lucky type guy who gets caught in the middle of this intrigue, he actually has this really strong, forceful personality, and he doesn’t just take things as they come. That’s probably why this premise works so well in this film, actually. I’d recommend it.