Game of Death
Directed by: Giorgio Serafini Cast: Wesley Snipes, Zoe Bell, Robert Davi Running Time: 1 hr 28 mins Rating: R Due Out: February 15, 2011
PLOT: A CIA operative (Snipes) must fight for his life when his team (Bell) turns on him in the middle of a high-stakes bodyguard mission.
WHO'S IT FOR?: There are some action fans who think a movie can be fulfilling as long as its combat scenes are a even just a bit fun to watch. Game of Death is for them. Rent it for the Snipes, keep in the DVD player for the neck snapping.
Wesley Snipes has more finesse breaking necks in Game of Death than any other element of this clunky straight-to-DVD actioner. Still, with all of its faults and general insignificance, Game of Death is certainly not one of the lesser movies of its format. The silenced pistol gunplay offered by this generally unsurprising script actually has a bit of a pulse, along with the sporadic moments of martial arts.
Overall, the acting is pretty flat. Wesley Snipes thinks he can let his presence do all of the acting (and … he’s only a little bit correct). Death Proof stunt girl Zoe Bell has a decent sized part as one of the rogue bodyguards. At first, it looks like she isn’t going to say much throughout the film, but once she has one-on-one time with Snipes, she keeps talking, and talking, and talking. The third probably recognizable face in the movie, Robert Davi, spends a lot of time in a hospital bed or eventually a wheelchair. Not a bad way to make a paycheck.
The weakest element of Game of Death is its direction, which comes off as amateur and reckless. The style that director Serafini tries to inject into the movie is without point, except to add unnecessary pizzazz to a standard action movie image. The visuals’ attempt at sleek becomes very clumsy, especially considering the shoddy, continuity-increasing editing that makes a say about Game of Death’s quality every once in a while.
Game of Death is able to situate itself fairly comfortably on the low expectations of action movies (especially those that never see the big screen). In that sense, I suppose that’s slightly a win.
MOVIE SCORE: 4/10
Six Behind-the-Scenes Mini Featurettes