Apparently most of the money spent in making "End Game" went to pay the stars. With such adept actors as Cuba Gooding Jr., James Wood, Anne Archer, and a pasty-faced Burt Reynolds literally having a bad-hair day, this movie should have been much better. None of the others looks quite as shopworn as Burt but they do give the appearance of being tired and bored. Cuba almost walks through his lines as if reading from a cue card.
The story is trite and lackluster, with only a few exciting scenes such as the opening assassination. Both writers, J.C. Pollock and stunt man Andy Cheng, are novices and it shows. Even the title is lame. Of what relevance is "End Game," and what exactly is the story? This viewer got confused, especially toward the end.
Vaguely, the film is about the assassination of a President and a personal investigation by the secret service man, Alex Thomas (Gooding), who did take a bullet for the President. But the bullet pierced Thomas' hand and then hit the President, ergo Thomas feels responsible for the Chief Executive's death, that he also let the First Lady down. He is joined in his manhunt by a reporter, Kate Crawford (Angie Harmon), who is determined to crack the case and get her scoop even at the risk of her own life. The situation becomes extremely hazardous as more and more evidence is uncovered pointing a finger to those in high places of our government. How the case is resolved at the end of the game leaves several unanswered questions. That all this sounds familiar indicates the picture's lack of originality and creativity.
The hackneyed script does provide a few good lines such as when Kate is interrogating an indigent person who keeps asking her for money. When she wants him to keep a house under surveillance, he tells her he would be glad to help anytime. She mumbles under her breath,"And how much will that cost me?"
Rather than waste time watching "End Game," why not rent other better movies on the topic such as "In The Line Of Fire," starring Clint Eastwood?
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