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Overall Rating
2.75

Awesome: 6.78%
Worth A Look: 11.02%
Average50.85%
Pretty Bad: 12.71%
Total Crap: 18.64%

10 reviews, 58 user ratings


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Reindeer Games
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by Hawkboy

"Ben Affleck IS Kurt Russell!"
3 stars

"Reindeer Games" is a fairly solid effort, provided you ignore the large plot holes and oft-times incomprehensible plot twists. Director John Frankenheimer knows how to pull this stuff off in his sleep, so we're happy. Screenwriter Ehren Krueger has lost all the respect he earned with "Arlington Road", however.

The practice of using plot twists is a long and honored profession, dating back to good ol' Alfred Hitchcock whacking his main character halfway through "Psycho". But today's movies are taking this time-honored tradition and blowing it WAY the hell out of the realm of logic. Plot twists have to be fair and based on a certain brand of reason. You can't have situations along the lines of:

Detective: There is a killer in our midsts. He has killed half the cast, including LL Cool J and his parrot. I've captured him, finally, and he sits beneath this blanket, tied to a chair.

Surviving cast members: Who is it? Tell us!

Detective: And so, without further ado, the killer is....A CHARACTER WHO WE'VE NEVER MET!

Surviving cast members: Is that President Clinton?

Audience: What the shit?

See what I mean? You can't just throw something in from left field, like the majority of today's films are. Ehren Krueger is the biggest purveyor of such nutty goings-on. With "Arlington Road" (which worked), "Scream 3" (which didn't - at all), and now this (which was entertaining, but stupid), he seems to be trying to get a job writing for a soap opera.

So, yeah, yeah, plot: Rudy (Ben Affleck) gets out of the joint and hooks up with his dead cellmate's pen-pal girlfriend who's never met him before (Charlize Theron). They have sex. But then her evil brother (Gary Sinise) shows up with his evil crew (including Danny Trejo, unfortunately not wielding his knives from "Desperado") and forces our friend Rudy into doing something very evil, because they think he's the dead cellmate and knows how to do stuff. Rudy must come to an ethical decision: Is it alright to commit illegal acts if it means you get to have Charlize Theron roger you roundly?

This would be a big pile of schlock if not for the talented cast: Ben Affleck plays the everyman in a crazy situation quite well; he's not up to the Bruce Willis level yet, but he's certainly a good Kurt Russell. Gary Sinise is a good evil dude, and his evil crew are all really craggy looking guys who know how to look tough and give good gut-punches. Charlize Theron is the hottest thing walking, and manages to give her character depth. She's rather talented, and I don't just mean that she shows her breasts. That's a talent, and a damn good one, but she can act as well, which is a big plus. Dennis Farina even shows up for a cameo, and he's a fun dude, so there's added bonus points.

John Frankenheimer is a great action director, and the scenes of violence in the movie are all well-done, especially a rather difficult scene involving darts. Following up on his bad-ass "Ronin", this is another solid effort on his part.

But the story...oh, the story; could it make any LESS sense? Especially near the end, where Krueger hits us with enough plot twists to fill a season of "Dallas", we're just wondering how on earth any of this makes any sense whatsoever. But never mind.

It's cheese, but entertaining cheese. You watch it, you leave the theatre, and you forget about it. Well, unless you write a review about it afterwards. Then you think about it for a little while longer. Then you stop.

What the hell was Isaac Hayes doing in that movie? He showed up at the beginning, ate a roach, then *poof*. Gone. I kept waiting for him to show up later on, but he didn't. I felt cheated. He's twice the action hero Ben is. He's Truck Turner, dammit!

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3842&reviewer=27
originally posted: 02/26/00 09:34:04
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User Comments

11/28/09 Jeff Wilder Gets the job done. That's all it does. 3 stars
10/23/09 Rachel I really did not enjoy this movie and actually never finished watching it! 2 stars
3/14/09 Qeratk Hi! yYQQsZoI 1 stars
9/10/08 PAUL SHORTT WINDS UP A FIERY KNOT OF TANGLED LOYALTIES AND BETRAYALS, WITH NO ONE TO ROOT FOR 1 stars
8/30/08 Shaun Wallner This ones ok. 3 stars
2/18/07 Nick Maday I enjoyed the twists to this, but they just seemed to keep coming. 3 stars
2/10/07 Heather I want to see believeable actors and the majority in this film just aren't. Cardboard! 2 stars
1/10/07 David Pollastrini Charlize Theron Looked hot! 4 stars
10/23/05 Jenny Tullwartz MISFIRE! Rudolph would've been all the poorer for joining in these reindeer games! 2 stars
10/23/05 Jenny Tullwartz MISFIRE! Rudolph would\'ve been all the poorer for joining in THESE reindeer games! 2 stars
8/27/05 ES Why does Gary Sinise keep doing this garbage, he's better than that 1 stars
3/13/05 Mr. Mooring Affleck is the WORST actor ever. 1 stars
1/17/05 Jeff Anderson Surprise, I actually liked this film. R.I.P. J. Frankenheimer (1930-2002), you'll be missed 5 stars
11/18/04 Jay Lo Affleck is wooden but Theron carries the film. 2 stars
1/08/04 A F Holy Crap did that suck and I'm from MN 1 stars
10/17/03 Josh Standlee Funny and action-packed. Gary Sinise should have recieved "The Best Villian for 2000" award 4 stars
6/06/03 Francis Implausible is right. Who writes this stuff? 3 stars
3/09/03 Jack Sommersby Energetic, but after a while you just don't give a hoot. 2 stars
10/15/02 Charles Tatum Good twists and turns, but completely odious characters 4 stars
3/11/02 CHANTELLE I LOVE IT THATS ALL I CAN SAY 5 stars
2/25/02 Jenny Tullwartz MISFIRE! Rudolph would've been all the poorer for joining in THESE reindeer games! 2 stars
1/24/02 Andrew Carden Almost Impossible To Enjoy...Almost Unwatchable. 1 stars
12/09/01 Joe Zappa "Reindeer Games" is awesome as Hell!!!!!! 4 stars
8/19/01 Dr. Thompson Ben Affleck bites like a chigger 1 stars
7/21/01 Slicer This is just plain old bullshit, kids. Implausible to the core. 1 stars
6/13/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Each film Affleck's in gets progressively worse. I'm gonna smack him, I swear. 1 stars
4/17/01 I love movies r u kiddin'? this movie rocked! 5 stars
4/10/01 Spetters Not good in any way, but strangely entertaining. 3 stars
3/13/01 Paperplate UFO I can't keep a straight face when Afflek tries to look tough. Pure comedy. 1 stars
2/21/01 R.W. Welch Has no real stand-out aspects, just manages to hold your attention. 3 stars
12/10/00 BrittenysPears I'll save you the rental fee. Affleck lives and gives all the money away THIS SUCKED 1 stars
11/27/00 Fred Good movie, especially Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron. 4 stars
11/14/00 Terrie Smith A few good moments here and there but nothing exceptional. 3 stars
10/17/00 Dave Thsi movie had it all!!! Even a naked 10 year old farm boy - wait that was Charlize.. 2 stars
10/02/00 Robin Ben is on the rise!!!!! Go boy! 5 stars
9/18/00 Paul I know this is an "Affleck friendly" site but this movie sux. Theron's acting sucks ass 1 stars
8/24/00 Add A nice throw away popcorn action thiller, doesn't challenge u but has a decent ending 3 stars
8/21/00 Monday Morning Ending twist was way too far fetched. Pretty entertaining overall but leave brain at home. 4 stars
8/21/00 The Bomb 69 good movie, liked the plot twist, the ending with the money was unrealistic though 4 stars
5/31/00 Trina M. Barnard slow start, but picks up. Love the twist 4 stars
5/12/00 LINA CANTIN NOT BAD...VERY PREDICTABLE... BEN HAS A NICE ASS..WAS WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION ... 3 stars
4/09/00 Stacy This movie was good! Ben Affleck is so hot. 4 stars
4/04/00 The Ronin Damn Good Movie 5 stars
3/21/00 Laura i enjoyed the twists 4 stars
3/18/00 Lame-Oh not bad, but Fight Club was better 3 stars
3/14/00 Mortis Full of twist, visually excellent, pacing was great, Ben's great, he's actings improvbe big 4 stars
3/13/00 Aurora Great fun! Ben Affleck does a great job! 5 stars
3/12/00 Malbert Cool ending&Ben Affleck keep this movie from being completely horrible 2 stars
3/08/00 Fork Story? Hmm? The characters all thrown together were entertaining. And somehow fun to me. 4 stars
3/04/00 jake Charlize is quite possabily the world's WORST actress!!!! GAWD she sucked donkey balls!!!! 1 stars
3/01/00 PhilmPhreak More holes than a pound of swiss. 3 stars
3/01/00 Ben Ryan Think Ben Affleck was in his element here. Overall good plot, geez, too much fucking snow! 5 stars
3/01/00 NC Lightweight affable Affleck meets over-the-top psycho Sinise via dull babe Theron. Yawn. 1 stars
2/28/00 "Cracka 577" it sucked fat ass 1 stars
2/27/00 TimmyToday This was trying to be a comedy 1 stars
2/27/00 Michelle Excellent movie with an excellent cast! I don't usually like actions, but this one was A+ 5 stars
2/26/00 Kathy Fast paced and entertaining - nice ass 4 stars
2/19/00 Andi C. Good plot..entertaining 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  25-Feb-2000 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  05-Oct-2000 (MA)




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