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Discovering the object of the game *is* the object of the game.


The Game
(1997)

David Fincher's weakest film, all virtuoso technique but with a shallow and unconvincing script at its core. Its themes obviously spoke to the director, as it now comes across as a proto-wake-up-to-reality movie (which the director would hone with Fight Club and we'd see other examples around that period such as The MatrixDark City and The Thirteenth Floor) but it feels like the kernel of a good idea, a house of cards that had already partially collapsed before a frame of film was shot. 

Some have suggested behind-the-scenes agendas at work on the director's films, although highlighting themes of mind control seems about as conclusive as noting frequent serial killers or that he seems as attracted to scripts for their technical possibilities as their brain-scrambling ones. 

I never found the "Is it or isn't it?" particularly compelling, even on first viewing, and the ending comes across as so implausibly trite (both in terms of what we are expected to believe of the execution of the game itself and the clumsy moral of the tale) that it makes the whole film look considerably less clever than it obviously thinks it is. The same kind of energy spent on undeserving material was also evident in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Watchable, and intermittently effective (the "White Rabbit" sequence) but inconsequential.

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