CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Action, Adventure
  • 1997
  • 128 mins

The Game

The Game

Synopsis

A taut, tense and darkly stylish thriller by the director of Se7en and Fight Club. Michael Douglas is the control-freak millionaire plunged into an unstoppable executive game

About

Seven and Fight Club were among the 1990s darkest and smartest films, combining high style, grim wit and a certain cultural resonance. Sandwiched between them was The Game. It doesn't scale the same heights but it's still a pertinent parable about high-risk fun made with Fincher's trademark flash and menace.

Nicholas Von Orton (Michael Douglas) is the rigidly self-controlled millionaire introduced by his brother (Penn) to the shadowy Consumer Recreation Services organisation ("an experimental book-of-the-month club.") They instigate a series of nightmarish happenings in which Von Orton's blackmailed, assaulted then left for dead. It could be a decadent game designed to be put high living execs in touch with their inner warrior. But it might not be.

With its paranoia, fear of emasculation, uncertain narrative and conception of life as sport The Game shares much with Fight Club. For Douglas too this is familiar territory and his control-freak-turned-helpless-victim recalls roles in Wall Street, Falling Down and Disclosure. Visually it's as exhilarating as we've come to expect from Fincher, and there are some enjoyably potent lines. "They fuck you and fuck you and fuck you," says Penn. "And just when you think it's over, that's when the real fucking begins."

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Carroll Baker, Sean Penn, Deborah Kara Unger, Michael Douglas, Armin Mueller-Stahl, James Rebhorn, Peter Donat
  • Director: David Fincher
  • Screen Writer: John D Brancato, Michael Ferris
  • Producer: Steve Golin, Ceán Chaffin
  • Photographer: Harris Savides
  • Composer: Howard Shore

In a nutshell

Good looking, tightly controlled thriller. An exhilarating ride that prepares the ground for Fight Club.

by Jon Fortgang

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Maps To The Stars

    Maps To The Stars

    Julianne Moore, John Cusack and Mia Wasikowska star in David Cronenberg's Hollywood caricature.

  • Film4 The Last Impresario

    The Last Impresario

    A documentary about Michael White, a prolific theatre and film producer

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o