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GAME OF DEATH (2011) * ½

Wesley Snipes’ Straight to DVD career is mostly filled with crap like The Marksman, but every now and then he manages to make a fun flick, such as Hard Luck.  After I read some good reviews of his latest STD flick, Game of Death I figured I’d give it a shot.  While it’s not quite as bad as The Marksman, it’s definitely another turd in Snipes’ cinematic toilet.

 

Snipes plays an undercover CIA agent posing as a bodyguard for a kingpin (Robert Davi).  Snipes’ associates, Gary Daniels and Zoe Bell want to steal Davi’s money and make a play for early retirement.  Snipes won’t go along with their plans and naturally has to stop Daniels and company from swindling Davi.

 

Game of Death (which in no way should be confused with Bruce Lee’s final film) is thoroughly ordinary in just about every way.  Although there are some competently staged Kung Fu scenes within a hospital, most of the shootouts are marred by erratic editing and unnecessary black and white insert shots.  The final Snipes vs. Daniels battle at the end of the flick is pretty solid, but it comes as being a day late and a dollar short.

 

What is really disappointing about Game of Death is that it wastes a potentially awesome cast.  Snipes, like many of his STD films, mostly sleepwalks through his role and he probably only took the part to pay the IRS.  Daniels and Bell are good… in other movies but they aren’t really given a lot to do here.  Davi spends most of his time with a tube up his nose, so he is pretty much wasted too.  Only Ernie Hudson, as a priest who hears Snipes’ confession in the framing scenes brings his A game.

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