Number of Times Seen – 2 (cable in 1998 and 19 Nov 2017)
Brief Synopsis – A successful business receives a mysterious gift from his bother for his birthday; a chance to play the game of a lifetime.
My Take on it – I can’t necessarily say that I’m a fan of David Fincher’s films, but for me he is a hit or miss director.
Seven (1995), Zodiac (2007), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010) and Gone Girl (2014) are all among my favorite films of the years they came out, but I still don’t enjoy watching Fight Club (1999), Alien 3 (1992) or Panic Room (2002).
This film has always fit into the latter category and I had hopes that this viewing would somehow change that.
But alas, that was not meant to be…
Michael Douglas and Sean Penn are both fine actors and do ok jobs here in the two key roles, but I couldn’t really feel for either of them… they felt too distanced from the audience.
The premise is an interesting one but the execution here just doesn’t work on any level.
I would have expected this film to be more thrilling and exciting and it was quite lackluster.
There are too many unanswered questions left open by the end and this just wasn’t a satisfying experience for me.
Bottom Line – This film just didn’t do it for me either time that I’ve seen it. Douglas and Penn are both fine in the leads, but neither really made me feel for either of their characters. The premise is actually a great one but I’m personally not happy with the way the film was executed. The story just wasn’t thrilling enough for such an idea and the story leaves too many unanswered questions and I didn’t find the story satisfying enough.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Jodie Foster was originally signed to play Michael Douglas’s sibling in the film. However, Foster changed her mind and wanted to appear as Douglas’s daughter instead. Douglas and director David Fincher were very opposed to this change so the part went to Sean Penn instead. Foster promptly sued PolyGram to the tune of $54.5 million – even though her Egg Pictures was one of the film’s production companies. The matter was fortunately settled out of court. Douglas – who is a personal friend of Foster – said that it didn’t seem right for him to play Foster’s father, given that there is only 18 years age difference between the two. Ironically, Douglas HAS already played Foster’s father – he did so in the Disney film Napoleon and Samantha (1972) at the start of both of their careers. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy
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