Game of Death
Letís hope 90s action stalwart Wesley
Snipes doesnít die in prison, where heís to spend the next three years
on various charges pertaining to tax evasion, because Game of Death
doesnít constitute much of a legacy, even by the relaxed standards
of straight to video.
The final mission of CIA agent Marcus Jones
(Snipes) unravels largely as flashback in the form of a confession to a
Catholic priest, whom Jones visits one lazy weekday afternoon. In
between bouts of the priest referring to him as Ďmy soní eighteen times
a minute, Jones spins a tale involving Iranian double agents, arms
dealers, crooked bankers, traitorous CIA operatives and the like. Most
of the action takes place inside a Detroit hospital in which Jones roams
the halls, gun drawn, duking and shooting it out with a cabal of his
former agency cronies.
Though never of the calibre of a Stallone,
Willis or even Van Damme, Snipes nonetheless produced some of the most
mindlessly enjoyable action pap of the early 1990s such as Demolition
Man and Passenger 57 and also put in memorable turns in such
diverse fare as Blade, New Jack City and White Men
Canít Jump, in which he starred alongside Woody Harrelson.
These days however he populates the same direct to video doldrums
populated by the likes of Steven Seagal and from which, sadly, there
seems generally to be no return.
Game of Death is a fairly
predictable, by-the-numbers entry into the canon. The editing is choppy
and director Giorgio Serafiniís attempt to counteract his modest budget
with Ďartyí ghosting and black and white effects merely comes across as
odd. Snipes for the most part is as expressionless as Seagal (one
reviewer likened his face to a neatly ironed blanket) and New Zealand
stuntwoman-turned-actress Zoe Bell (Death Proof) scowls away in
her best Clint Eastwood impersonation, but canít hide the fact that in
addition to being distractingly unattractive she isnít much of a
Best avoided altogether.