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First of all let me point out that I really love action movies. I just
recently spent time viewing several of Arnold's old movies, which are
all classics! Take Commando - this is my definition of a great action
film: Extremely simple story, but completely packed with some serious
action, with a bad-ass protagonist spitting out cheezy one-liners after
each round of pawnage!
Game of Death fails as a movie in pretty much every way possible. A simple "Arnold-like" action movie is what it SHOULD be. However, the people responsible for the film clearly thought that they had a story- line, actors, and camera-crew that would elevate this film to a "higher" level - whatever that is. Briefly summarized: The story and dialogue is a joke - some of the actors did such a poor job it almost makes some of the scenes embarrassing to watch. The main evil female agent must be one of the worst performances of 2010 - not to mention that the director for some reason decided to make most of the poorly acted dialogue scenes extremely long. So instead of filling the movie with cool karate-style Wesley Snipes action, the movie is mostly wasted on the weak story and the terrible acting. Most of the action scenes were even constantly interrupted by the bad guy having to shoot his mouth off - blah blah blah... What we WANT is pow pow pow!!!
By the way: The camera work and editing gave me a laugh. For some reason they have some sudden clips of black'n white shots - and some other artsy-fartsy filming which is COMPLETELY out of place.
I'll give this movie a 2/10 simply because I enjoy some of Wesley Snipes unarmed action scenes. But for gods sake don't waste your time watching this garbage like I did.
Finally a quick appeal to WS:
Please fire your agent - or whoever persuaded you to participate in Game of Death. You are a cool guy and could renew your franchise of films where you kick ass again. But make it SIMPLE. A 1:30 film should have at least 60 minutes of action!!!
And remember to pay your taxes, Nebukanezer
PS: Wesley picks up a Glock 9mm (with silencer) from one of the bad guys in the hospital. These guns typically have between 15 and 17 rounds (full sized or compact versions). Without reloading the gun I think Wesley probably fired around 150 shots from this gun.
I don't understand why people vote this movie so down, because its not
as bad as a lot of other Snipes movies of the past and there were
certainly a lot. Who likes a halfway decent story is right here, who
wants to watch 08/15 action movies, is also right here, just the ones
who do not like Snipes because of his tax-problems should not watch
this movie and certainly not vote it down, maybe even without seeing
The most annoying thing of the movie is the lead female part, sometimes really badly annoying because so predictable and as well the pseudo- hard rock music. Nevertheless to me personally its the best movie Snipes did in the past 5-6years! And so a good 6 on the "richter scale"... ;)
This movie is played out thru and as a sort of "confession" to a
priest. So the story is not told in REAL time; but AFTER the fact;
sitting in a church with a priest.
CIA agent Marcus Jones is given the assignment of infiltrating the organization of arms dealer, Frank Smith, and thru him get to the president or head of a hedge fund operation based in Detroit; man named Redvale, who smith is working with. The CIA wants them both dead. It seems that Redvale Corp. has oil interests some place in Africa but the policies of the local government there is somehow cramping their style or interfering with the conduct of their business. This is where Frank Smith comes in: Revdale is financing Smith to arm rebels opposed to the government.
Immediately after Marcus is given his assignment, the movie cuts to --and begins-- at a point where he has already infiltrated Frank Smith's operation and is now working for him as security or a personal bodyguard. They are in a plane together at this point on their way to the Revdale Corp. to see Revdale and collect Smith's share of money from some transaction or deal in Africa. The plane lands and they transfer to a black SUV with cool musical accompaniment (Don't you wish this would happen every time YOU stepped off a plane or headed for your car?). At the same time, Marcus's CIA team is getting ready to move in; orders are given by their head of operations flying in a chopper overhead, that no action should be take until Smith picks up his loot.
The action begins when "others" I'm calling them (an important plot twist already spoiled for you by the IMDb synopsis) decide to interfere with the CIA operation so that they can get their greedy paws on all the loot that Smith is about to collect. At the same time, in the back seat of the SUV, Smith is starting to feel hot and bothered; complains about the heat; shortly thereafter he is having a major heart attack and has to be taken to a hospital. But the "others", unaware of this, are shooting at the car to get it to stop. They want Smith captured so that they can use him to get into Revdale Corp. and collect his money. A chase leads to a hospital where most of the action takes place as the "others" hunt Marcus and look to kidnap the badly ailing Smith.
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie (low expectations, I guess). Turns out this is a good action film. Snipes played his character Marcus in a sober, detached sort of way; like a man who has no other life or friend but his job and whose longest conversations take place within. So he's serious; has no "attitude" and cracks no jokes. Not even a "forced" smile for the nurse who was looking after him and who was clearly flirting (Down fellas, not the nurse of your fantasies). For example, after some comment she made about always wanting to date a bodyguard, he looked at her as if he had no idea what she was going on about; as if human chit chat or conversion was something he was unfamiliar with. So this guy is busy; unless you have something to do with his mission or the job at hand, you exist to him only peripherally.
The movie utilizes the "hunter-and-prey-in-a-confined-area" (a hospital) scenario. And though hardly original, it is a favorite of many people --if done well-- and I thought it was done well here. So it was entertaining to watch hunter and prey navigate the rooms and floors of the hospital; the former trying to kill or capture and the latter trying to survive and get away. I found the fight scenes effective; smart and satisfying; demonstrating that breaking someone's neck is not the snap you might have thought it was (sorry; couldn't resist). Finally, just to give you some perspective: This movie, while not having all the money, star-power, and fire-power of say, "The Expendables", is still hands-down the better made action film. Demonstrating once again that "less" is often "more" and "more" is often "less". Love, Boloxxxi.
With a title like this, what can one expect? A bunch of clichés, seen
it all befores, etc. No disappointment here scenario-wise. But what
about Wesley Snipes?
Well, I have learned that Wesley Snipes has no emotions. His face is a neatly ironed blanket. It seems like he is sedated throughout the movie. I'm guessing the evil tax man took, besides all of his money, also the possibility of expressing emotions. He is not what you call stone cold - he is dead cold. Or possibly a sleep walker?
And Zoe Belle, the female "bad guy"? Hell, she's funny. Really funny. She tries to put on super scary serious I'm-tougher-than-tough face, but it comes out ridiculous. I honestly laughed a couple of times at her face. I'm thinking she was trying to be sort of a Clint Eastwood with that look, but it simply didn't play out.
But poor acting is not the worst thing here. Absolutely horrible, irritating soundtrack which instead of suspense brings only annoyance and repetitive need to use the mute button on my remote. Also, the camera work is below par and the ghosting effects are completely unnecessary, ugly and debilitating to the picture.
I have given this a very, very generous 3 out of 10.
It's really too bad that this Bourne Identity (2002) or even U.S. Marshals (1998) themed movie didn't have a scriptwriter with more interest and serious commitment into developing the solid espionage plot into something really classy. The serious tone of the violence and the stark colors of movie really are impressive, even the martial art sequences are compelling. Unfortunately, the integrity and the intelligence of most of the movie is lacking. The lack of use of even what Die Hard (1988) counter espionage techniques is disappointing especially the taking advantage of the electronic opportunities. There is way too much just simply shooting for shooting sake that eventually gets monotonous and some kills are simply just almost accidental, dumb luck, and so many die out so soon as to make the second half of the film somewhat unbalanced for a typical action thriller movie, and a poor attempt to explain or sometimes avoid more convoluted plot points by just taking the easy way out. The movie seems to border of the melodramatic and some of the dialogue two-dimensional, even though with the female assassin there was so much opportunity. The initial set up is decent enough, if somewhat predictable as to the ending even at the beginning of the movie, telegraphing its supposed surprise. Even the cautionary suspicion towards the end of the movie that would have given the movie an even greater edge seems to have been lost. Nevertheless, there is an element of constant rage that is often missing in such action thrillers, yet it seems to have overtaken the rational logic of the situation making the scenes towards the end more disgusting then exciting and entertaining. The ending scenes are interesting and one can see the attempt at elevating them to a higher plane, but they stall in the effort, though at least left out the traditional awe and admiration climax of ordinary endings. The local SWAT which is almost always a strong presence in such movies seems to be mysteriously underdeveloped. It's too bad that Wesley Snipes didn't have more to work with, the movie had the potential to be a solid hit.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Besides the cool fight scenes where he always seems to break their necks everything else about the movie was splotchy and missing detail like how there was random rock music when there wasn't anything going on, and during not all but some of the fight scenes the colors changed to black and white or rainbow something stupid. The part of the movie that infuriated me the most was the fact that he had taken one of the supposed bags of money and went to a church with it ??? and the feds and popo are searching for this guy?? i mean they aren't just gonna let him go gta style he killed what half a dozen CIA and they have absolutely no idea if he killed the other ppl besides the one witness but even with that he is still guilty of stealing the money no matter how righteous the cause if you noticed in the end he left the bag there full of money and the humble pasture listing to him didn't even think to try to stop him to give his bag back it was payment to god for his dammed soul which btw Wesley your still going to hell you stole that moola buddy XD but anyhow he was also walking through the ghetto where most cops bust ppl like crazy you would think someone would notice him ? if i could rate it lower than a 0 i would cause it almost made me throw up XP
Even in this horrible movie you show that you got talent. Why do you
lower yourself to work with people that seems to know nothing about
making exciting movies? The editing is horrible and there is not real
feeling in the action scenes either. guns that sound "pjuff pjuff"
along with horrible editing is not a good way to go.
This one had an exciting idea of making an exciting movie but its all just washed away during the course of the movie.
The end fight is worth looking at though so for all that hasn't seen it fast forward to that one for some good old Wesley Snipes action! Otherwise its not much to look at here.
But again, this is not due to Snipes 'cause he seems to be doing the best he can making it exciting but with bad editing and directing overall - noting can save this movies face.
Game of Death if a straightforward political action flick. Wesley
Snipes plays a CIA agent who walks into a church and tells the priest
he's killed a lot of people. He reluctantly confesses. He was assigned
to infiltrate and kill an arms dealer. On the day of the mission things
start going wrong. The dealers' caravan is attacked and the arms dealer
suffers a heart attack. Snipes, who now is security for the dealer at
first doesn't now what is going on. In a hospital he finds himself
under attack again. His CIA team went rogue and has its own plans for
Some interesting and critical things are said of the US, war, and corporate interests. This movie is straightforward action because there is no romantic interest, Snipes isn't fighting for his family or some such thing, in the end it comes down to his own survival.
This is an East-coast B movie that has a certain 90s feel to it. It's all about the action and the action is very good- typical Wesley Snipes stuff- energetic, fast, brutal. Snipes has always been somewhat of an under-appreciated action star.
The movie could have had a bit more story, especially about the sinister corporate/government deals. Snipes, who is a fine actor overall could have gotten a bit more do. It suffers from some weird visual choices. Often there are quick scenes filmed in black and white for some reason, or other color changes during actions scenes that serve no purpose. Otherwise, this is a pretty entertaining, plain action flick with good fight scenes.
I guess you guys didn't notice that it was stated that the hospital wing was mostly empty because they had moved the patients and staff to a newly built wing? Anyway, I liked this movie. Even though the plot was simple, they kept it moving (no pauses to reload guns ;-) and it was suspenseful because you couldn't be sure what might happen next. Excellently choreographed and performed hand-to-hand and foot-to-foot combat. Wesley has the moves, wow. His deadpan suited this movie, too, I feel. Just enough humanity was included by way of innocent bystanders, but not too much so as to distract from the urgent intent of the protagonists. The unusual photographic effects here and there added to the edginess, in my opinion. Pure adrenaline rush, if you stay with the flow.
Obviously, this movie should not be confused with the Bruce Lee movie of the same name. The only thing they have in common is the use of martial arts. Anyway, I didn't find this movie as bad as some of the user comments here. Although it was released direct-to-DVD, the production values are mostly strong; this movie could have been released to theaters. Shooting in Detroit also gave the movie a unique backdrop. But I was disappointed in the end. Although the action scenes do show that Snipes indeed knows his martial arts, they were directed and choreographed in a way that drains most of the excitement out them. Also a bad directorial touch was the use of black and white, which comes out of nowhere and seems out of place. The resolution of the climax will most likely leave viewers unsatisfied with how things are wrapped up. But long before that, the movie's mean streak will have turned off viewers (a TON of innocent people get killed during the movie!) Still, Snipes fans may be forgiving of a lot of these flaws, since this will probably be one of the last Snipes movies they'll get to see for a long time, with Snipes now in prison.
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