Netflix Reviews: The Game
The Game was released in 1997 but is currently available for streaming on Netflix. David Fincher directed this heart pounding thriller about a man named Nicholas who has everything at the expense of his own personal life. The film starts off by showing a party at Nicholas' estate when he was a child in somewhat of a surreal way. There is something a bit disturbing about it all and the way that it is shown with the dull music playing in the background you keep expecting something horrible to happen, and right before that happens we are shown Nicholas in present time splashing water in his face, He is a wealthy man living alone and has the same routine everyday or going to work, going to a high end restaurant and then retreating to his luxurious mansion. The next day he wakes up and nothing changes, even though it's his birthday. His receptionist at work says he got a message from "Seymour Butts" which Nick knows is a message from his rebellious young brother Conrad.
Nicholas' promises Conrad that he will call CRS, but doesn't jump right on it. He goes home and for his birthday his maid makes him some food and his ex-wife calls him, to which he is very cold to. He is ultimately skeptical about giving CRS a call, but it is up until a chance encounter with some associates that have played The Game that makes him curious. Eventually he gives into the curiosity when he finds out that CRS had moved into his building on the fourteenth floor. He fills out papers, goes through some trails and boom, he is now in his own experience of The Game. Every person has a different experience with it, every experience is unique. His first experience is a bit intense as he is driving home and is met by a clown in his driveway. Inside the mouth of the clown is a key, and his television begins to talk to him. That's enough to make someone a bit on edge right. I'd say so. From here on, Nicholas begins to question what is real and what is really just apart of The Game but both seem to be blending into the same thing.
From that point on, it also becomes a guessing game for the viewer just as much as it is for Nicholas as to who is in on this elaborate game. It leads to some very elaborate pranks, one of the more memorable ones being in a hospital where all the lights go out and every disappears in seconds. Nicholas at one point is even urged by the pranksters to pursue a woman that was his waitress at his favorite restaurant named Christine. Throughout the film she remains to be the one person that he feels he can truly trust despite the fact that she seems to know more than she is letting on.
It is a David Fincher film, and thrillers are what he excels at. This film may have had a bit too long of a running time, but due to the shear terror displayed throughout Michael Douglas' performance as Nicholas and Fincher's ability as a director it keeps us engaged throughout the film. The core of the film is about the simple question of what do you get for a man that has everything, and the answer to that comes in the final moments of the movie when Nicholas realizes what he has been without and for him to see that he had to go through some of the most drastic of situations to see it. Sean Penn is a terrific actor, but hardly in the film as Conrad the rebellious younger brother to Nicholas and he shines in his limited screen time. This film came out two years after Seven was released and went far as to raising David Fincher's star as we now see him as a top director in the industry. If you have Netflix and are looking for a good movie to watch, I highly recommend this heart pounding thriller. Look out for next week as I will review another movie off of Netflix. If you have any recommendations for movies for me to look out for on Netflix, say so in the comment box below.