As usual when I try to convince myself of something like this, I was wrong.
Reindeer Games follows Rudy (Ben Affleck) as he gets out of jail. He pretends to be his cellmate, Nick, who was shanked on their last day in the joint, to Nick’s pen pal (Charlize Theron). After the obligatory “you just got out of jail” sex, her brother shows up (Gary Sinise) who is a criminal interested in breaking into and robbing a casino that Nick used to work at. He wants to get information from Nick. However, since Rudy isn’t Nick, he doesn’t know the information.
This leads to a super confusing scene in which Rudy changes his story (and therefore identity) about five times within a fifteen minute screen time. If I was Sinise, I would have had the dude shot after one identity switch. But unfortunately, the movie goes on. There is so much dialogical explanation in this film. People are constantly explaining why they did this, or why they didn’t do this. It’s not really the actor’s fault, per se, but more a problem of a terrible screen play. I will say that Sinise does a particularly fun job, almost like he was aware of the travesty he was in (my personal favorite was the gusto with which he delivered the line “Don’t play any reindeer games with me” – ya know, because we have to have the title in there).
film, often hurrying in to people’s faces for close ups, but somehow never seeming to be in a rush. Some of the action is decent, Charlize Theron is as great as usual, and some of the side characters (like Danny Trejo) are very good bit players. The problem is just the ludicrousness of it all, and nothing quite gels together. There are so many double crosses throughout the film that it’s incredibly confusing, and I just couldn’t get behind it.
I’m going to give Reindeer Games a “D”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"