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Surviving the Game

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Ernest R. Dickerson

A psychotic group of wealthy hunters release a wily homeless man (Ice T) in the woods and find him to be much more than they bargained for. A taut action movie with good performances. Music by Stewart Copeland.

Release Date: 1994
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Surviving the Game

I think I like the title Game better

  • Dec 13, 2005
Pros: Hey, when there’s nothing on late at night…

Cons: Despite the story, it wasn’t an edge-of-your-seater.

The Bottom Line: "When you are eating the flesh of the pig, look into his little beady eyes. That way you will be devouring his soul."

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

Wow. I’m actually surprised this movie has gotten the star rating it has. True, there are only 6 reviews (not counting myself), but considering how this movie has a rather simple plot, isn’t very deep, a bit clichéd, and in general nothing magical, I’m surprised. Besides all that, I enjoyed the movie. Haha. This is another one of those movies I happen to stumble upon late at night when the rest of my family is in bed and I’m too bored to go to bed (makes no sense, does it?) so I just slug and flip channels. I spotted Ice-T and, as usual, became curious and watched the rest. Sort of like my encounter with Johnny Mnemonic.

The Story:
Jack Mason (Ice-T) is homeless. As if that weren’t enough, Mason’s dog and an old man, his two best friends, have both died within a short amount of time of one another. Poor Mason. He’s at the end of his rope and about to end it all when Walter Cole (Timothy Dutton) stops him and brings him up to see a wealthy man named Thomas Burns (Rutger Hauer). Mason is offered $20 if he can run 20 minutes on a treadmill. Mason, having nothing to lose, agrees, and gets his $20. Burns then has a little proposition for him…

Mason soon finds himself among Burns and his hunting buddies. Things seem normal until Mason finds out the true reason behind Burns’s desire to bring him. This isn’t any normal hunting trip – quite the contrary. Sure, deer are fast and well camouflaged, but where’s the fun in that? Humans on the other hand….

Looks like Mason has a lot of problems, and with civilization out of reach, so is help.

The Verdict:
You know, before if you’ve ever been a fan of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books, this movie is a lot like the Super Chiller Party Summer. That had some interesting twists though.

Yes, I did mention earlier that this movie has a simple plot and isn’t very deep. Well, it’s true. Mason is getting hunted by a group of men who have decided humans make for the best prey. Naturally Mason wants to stay alive. So essentially the entire movie is him trying to escape. Not much else to it.

Ice-T actually did this before his role in Johnny Mnemonic and for some reason I sort of like him better here. I don’t know why because some of his lines were a little lame (but I suppose that’s the writing) – I suppose I just liked him in this character better than J-Bone.

One thing I enjoyed was Gary Busey as Doc Hawkins. I agree that this movie would have been better with more Gary Busey psychotics – his character was pretty messed up, and I feel like he could have given a lot more to this movie than he was allowed. A lot of the other characters were okay, but didn’t seem to live up to their potential, seeming to fall a bit flat. I guess maybe it’s because they’ve never encountered such a difficult hunt at Mason gives them and it leaves them at a loss, but come on – they’re out of it enough to decide killing humans is fun, so I would think they’d be a little more intense. The kid though, Derek Wolfe Jr (William McNamara); he annoyed me.

There is some intenseness though, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the movie is devoid of feeling or action or blood. Oh, there’s a lot of that. No, it’s not excessive – just take into account what the movie is about and what Mason has to do in order to survive. As for the very end, I still have on burning question that I won’t divulge here so I don’t give away the end of the movie (though it wouldn’t be a huge surprise).

Real star rating: 3.5



Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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