If I thought I could get by with just typing the word bad in this review I would, but I know the powers that be wouldn’t appreciate my one word review. However, that’s all this film deserves because that’s all that it is.
CIA Agent Marcus (Snipes) is a dangerous man tasked with getting into the good graces of notorious criminal Frank Smith (Robert Davi) in order to kill him, unfortunately for Agent Marcus there’s a group of rogue CIA agents hell-bent on kidnapping Frank Smith in order to claim the hundred million dollars that Frank is lined up to get in a deal with another criminal.
The story sounds bland and old right? At this point in his career i’d be more surprised if Wesley Snipes did an original film with a good plot; it’s everything you’ve come to associate with a direct-to-video Wesley Snipes movie. Not only is the story tiresome to watch the action, if you want to call it action, is a joke. All of the action sequences last seconds and are just as bland as the plot with the same repetitive music playing in the background.
I tried, at various times, to change my opinion of the film and just take it for the ride that it was intended to be; but watching this film was literally one of the most boring experiences i’ve had to go through in quiet a while.
Perhaps the only thing this film has right is the video transfer. The original movie was shot on the amazing Red One camera then transferred onto blu-ray with Sony’s amazingly detailed eye. The entire film has nice even tones and blacks are super inky; the faces of the characters are amazingly detailed and very appropriately colored. The only disadvantages the film suffers from, in terms of video, is based solely on the production. The film attempts to capture something of a Guy Richie style with the use of slow motion scenes but fails by intertwining intentionally grainy scenes, flat images, and odd color shifts throughout the film that are a bit jarring to the otherwise awesome video quality.
Game of Death arrives on blu-ray with a moderately decent DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Unfortunately the audio portion of the film isn’t up-to-par with it’s video counterpart. The sounds in the film are bland and flat all around, with the rare sound effect done properly. You’d think in a film with helicopters, car chases, and gun fights that the sounds would be amazing and vidid; but then you’d be thinking of another film, so don’t get your hopes up in terms of bass rattling goodness. I suppose if you’re wanting to put a positive spin on the audio portion of the film you can say that since everything is flat there’s not really any moments that let you down farther.
Game of Death contains very few special features, and certainly lets down anyone hoping they were going to pick up the slack in this portion of the release. Check below for a full list of supplements:
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes: A Look at the Story, The Action of ‘Game of Death’, The Cast, Working with Director Giorgio Serafini, Behind the Stunts, and Shooting in Detroit.
- Previews: Additional Sony titles.
The only two words I can use for this release are bad and pass. Bad because the film is utterly unbearable to watch and pass because, unless you’re just trying to obtain every blu-ray release that hits the store shelves, I see no reason to buy this film. It’s quiet literally one of the worse movies i’ve ever seen with one of the words audio tracks to come out of Sony’s catalogue. As I said above, the only redeeming factor to this film would be the video clarity, but that’s certainly not enough of a reason to suffer through this film.