It's been awhile since I did a most dangerous game film. If you need a brief refresher on that famous short story and its themes, it is about a man hunting another man for sport. Now this film isn't exactly the most dangerous game. It is more a revenge flick thriller version. Oh, and it is mostly just two really good actors acting at each other while they do some pretty brutal things.
The plot goes like this: a soldier during the Bosnian war and a Serbian terrorist from the same war. The terrorist gets shot in the back and executed by the soldier ... except he survives. And spends the rest of his life trying to find the solider to get revenge. Then it is a game of hunter versus hunter. First they meet and they get to know each other, at least a little. And then it all goes down hill.
The film is pretty daggum good. It doesn't ever quite crank up into the next gear to be great. But it is good. And the war background for some viewers will very much be a huge bonus. I personally wish there had been some more set pieces, some more intense thriller moments. There are certainly some, and they are pretty good. But I wish the film pushed those moments more. Also, the dialogue between them is very poignant and well done, but for me not particularly engaging in the talky sequences which pace out the film.
Robert De Niro and John Travolta do a great job inhabiting these characters. I don't feel like I'm watching these actors, but I truly am watching these characters and their struggle. There's also some real nice symbolism, though it is a little ... well, it isn't light-handed, but I am unwilling to call it heavy-handed. Noticeable and relevant.
The film could be better. And that's really its biggest crime. it aims pretty high, but nothing about the direction or cinematography really elevates the film, and the dialogue actually kind of hurts the film. The acting is good (though I bet some have a hard time with Travolta's accent, though it didn't bother me) and the set pieces, though a little more spaced out than I would like, are memorable and enjoyable. The film didn't do well with critics, but personally, I think it is pretty all right.
I must ask Sandy to go steady with me. Those su-u-ummer ni-ights!
Oh, and the finale sequence is dumb. Like, super dumb. Absolutely bad dumb. Well, not finale sequence, the climax moment. There's a finale sequence that has more war dialogue. Man, if I was into war stuff I'd really like this a lot more. Oh goodness, and an epilogue on top of it that I personally find undercuts the film. Sheesh. You know what, despite all that, I do enjoy it. Not enough to own it. Not even really enough to watch it again. So ... I guess I don't really like it enough for a plus. But hey, if you like war stuff, which I know a few of you really do, this could be right up your alley.