Unfortunately, even though Game of Death has the lovely Zoe Bell, the always awesome Gary Daniels and the in prison Wesley Snipes – it’s not actually that good. Well, not as good as it should be anyway.
The film follows Wesley, Gazza and Bell as three CIA hitmen who like walking slowly to music and shooting people from outdoor staircases – you know, the usual CIA bullshit. Anyway, they’ve got a new job, one which involves Snipes pretending to be a very bad man’s bodyguard, with the aim being to eventually kill him or arrest him or something. However, Gary Daniels and Zoe Bell -
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and so Wesley’s a bit miffed. Thus begins a big fight in a hospital and in a bank with guns and kicks and a bit where Wesley Snipes does this really cool thing where he basically punches this guy twice in the fingers and wrist (sounds shit BUT TRUST ME IT ISN’T). It’s as clichéd as, well, pretty much all of Wesley Snipes’ recent movies, but then I suppose you wouldn’t have expected anything less?
So apart from vampires, Game of Death pretty much has everything I could ask for in a Wesley Snipes movie. Why then, didn’t I leave the room looking in the mirror, holding pretend guns and going ‘PIAOW! PIAOW! PIAOW!’?
Well the main point of contention between me and my biceps was the way the fight sequences were handled. Basically, all the ingredients were there – Wesley Snipes (he’s still got it), Gary Daniels (also still got it) and choreographer Simon Rhee (always had it, will never lose it), it’s just a shame the chef had to do his nut and run about the kitchen screaming and throwing all the precious ingredients left, right and centre. Each fight scene is ruined by insanely choppy editing, stupid black and white inserts, epileptic white flashes and pointless double-vision overlays.
Well done everyone – now we can’t see what the hell is going on!
The strange double-overlay thingies (don’t know the exact terminology – reckon I’m close though) are the most annoying. They’re fine at the beginning, but once you’ve seen two Wesley Snipes superimposed over one another for the 100th time, it starts to get rather intrusive. Director Giorgio Serafini seems to have gone all-out to try and stand-out, and in doing so (he definitely does so), has ended up harming rather than improving his film. Next time, keep it simple, and let Wesley’s feet do the talking – not a stupid white flash and a distorted zoom.
Apart from that, everything is ok with moi. Wesley Snipes is his usual bad-man self, Gary Daniels is still rubbish at acting but I don’t care, and Zoe Bell has uncovered an impressive talent for frowning. There are lots of fights, shoot-outs, a car chase, and Gary Daniels. Make of that what you will.
If you’re a fan of Snipes (who isn’t?) you’ll find much to like, it’s just you’ll have to sift through a raft of cheap camera tricks to find it.
Game of Death is out on Region 2 DVD now from Optimum Home Entertainment.