The Game

The Game ★★★½

Chaotic and absurd, The Game is a thrilling character study that sees a cold and alone banker as the victim of an elaborate scheme. The film is entirely unkind to its protagonist, pushing him to his limits, as he finds himself in the middle of seemingly random events, standing to lose everything.

Michael Douglas is wonderfully unhinged in the central role, going from a stable life where he is in control to the mercy of whatever force is playing tricks on him. There is also a hint of subtlety to his performance, though, as he comes to terms with his past and the untimely death of his father. The outlandish farce he hopelessly tries to escape creates a sudden change of heart in him after the game goes too far, which Douglas sells thanks to his effortlessness.

As a Fincher film, this is closer to Panic Room than it is to The Social Network or Gone Girl, meaning it’s as unabashedly fun as it is utterly ridiculous. In The Game, the fun comes from the complete loss of control and the randomness of the events. The only thing you can foresee is the conclusion of the banker’s character arc. As far as the rest of the film is concerned, you need to let go and let it take control of you.

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