"The over-twistiness detracts more harshly from the well-made action."
Reindeer Games (no explanation offered on the title, beyond a threat to Ben Affleck of “Don’t you play no reindeer games with me”) is a mind-numbingly twisty action flick.In a letter from Dimension Films similar to the one I received for all of the Scream movies, they request that I not reveal the many plot twists and turns. So in other words, anything can happen –no holds barred. What I can tell you is that Ben Affleck is being released from jail for his lesser crime (auto thefts) in order to make room for the more serious committers. His cellmate is killed the day before being released, so Affleck takes his identity allowing him to meet and copulate with the friend’s girlfriend (Charlize Theron) of which they had met only through writing to each other. Her brother (Gary Sinise), believing it’s the ex-con Affleck is posing as, kidnaps the couple to use him for help in pulling of a heist. Many twists ensue. The action is tense and there are many suspenseful elements (courtesy of director John Frankenheimer) but too many preposterous coincidences and overly strenuous tricks dissolve the effectiveness. The script by Ehren Kruger is too shaky and undeveloped in certain areas, as is the case with his other two screenplays (Scream 3 and Arlington Road). Too much of Reindeer Games is an uneven blend of Wild Things and Rush Hour –both of which worked better on their own, and the movie disregards too many rules to suspend disbelief. (You can no longer assume just because someone is killed on screen means they’re dead, when it used to be that you couldn’t assume it if they were killed off screen.)Final Verdict: C.