The Game

Director David Fincher threw a "Seven" the last time and now he's continuing with The Game. No board and never boring. Although Michael Douglas may not have charmed everyone in the little-to-be-enthusiastic-about "Wall Street," this time around he's a similar character, but thrown through the loop and into a spin where he winds up in a situation which his Mr. Big, super-cool bull moves and A-plus marks in economy never prepared him for.

On a steady ride upward in life, and with his pockets full of cash, Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is indifferently searching for a miracle once he receives brother Conrad's (Sean Penn) birthday gift designed for the man who has everything. "Beware siblings bearing gifts", Nicholas begins to think, when all goes terribly awry and the catastrophic begins to invade and overtake his life. The stakes are high and the rules are secret. He doesn't even know what the final destination is, although he finds himself heading there fast. Once he understands that every movement and remark he makes are being monitored, he begins to enter a realm that would make even the likes of Oliver Stone become paranoid. In short, what do you do when the bottom falls out, even though you have all the money and power one could ever dream of? As actor Douglas puts it, "People who have a great deal of wealth are protected, isolated. They're removed from a lot of life's daily realities. And part of the this movie is about what happens when you strip someone of all the clothes and security blankets. Do you drown? Or do you swim?" Neither his character in the film nor the audience know exactly which events are for real and which ones are being manipulated by CRS (Consumer Recreation Services), the company that orchestrates life-changing experiences. Talk about mind-altering, who needs the drugs?

Scriptwriters John Brancato and Michael Ferris have done a fine and fun job on a screenplay that remains exciting and imaginative while transcending the borders of "willful suspension" (as long as you're willing to climb aboard for the ride). Director David Fincher proves once again how good a film can be when the director has style. Sing praises for the Finch. His explanation of the movie is that "the story forces you to think about what your game would be. What would somebody do to bring you to your breaking point? What are the things most precious to you that they could strip you of?" And if you think that sounds kinky, wait till you see the film? It may revitalize your future gift lists, if you can afford this kind of present.

If you'd like to obtain further and more detailed information, you might try contacting Consumer Recreation Services (CRS) and signing up. I'm sure they'll find something to suit you.

Playtime, everyone.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett