Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Surviving the Game (1994)

Director: Ernest R. Dickerson

Writer: Eric Bernt

Composer: Stewart Copeland

Starring: Ice-T, Rutger Hauer, Charles S. Dutton, Gary Busey, F. Murray Abraham, John C. McGinley, William McNamara, Jeff Corey

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Jack Mason knows he's going to die someday. But today he's not in the mood.

Plot: A homeless man is hired as a survival guide for a group of wealthy businessmen on a hunting trip in the mountains, unaware that they are killers who hunt humans for sport, and that he is their new prey.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

With a cast like this it's a no-brainer.  The setup is great.  I really dug the dinner all of the hunters had with the unsuspecting prey the night before.  There was some great shit going on including a fun monologue from Busey on how he got his scar which is a surprising long take.  And I REALLY liked the surprise with Walter (Charles S. Dutton).  Whatever happened to Dutton?  In the 90s he was everywhere and it was great and now...?  Anyway, the problems with the picture start with the hunt (but only after the hunters have a leisurely breakfast).  They give Mason (Ice-T) a nice head start but they chase him like mad on ATVs and motorbikes going crazy fast, as if they could track him that quickly, flying through the forest. In the trailer you'll see a tree fall in front of Mason.  Yeah, he fells it by shooting it multiple times with a shotgun.  That's right, a shotgun.  Now it's just getting ridiculous.  I liked how each of the men are eliminated but it's stupid things like shotgunning the tree that take me out of it.  The ending was ridiculous, too.  There are some really nice things here but there are a few dumb moments that could have been handled so much better that it's a shame more time wasn't spent on the script. With everything else working (and very well), it's too bad the most important part of it couldn't have been more polished. It's still a fun ride and if you're a fan of any of the cast, you're going to want to see this...and you should.

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