Cuba Gooding Jr. as Alex Thomas in End Game (2006)

The Assassination Cliche

Whilst who shot JR kept fans of "Dallas" transfixed in the 80s, who shot The President in "End Game" sadly doesn't. It is meant to because "End Games" is a movie about the President being assassinated and the loyal secret service agent who failed to protect along with a plucky investigative journalist getting to the bottom of who is behind it. But see that is the problem because "End Games" is nothing more than cliches, the secret service man, the assassination and of course the intrigue as to who is behind it all. In the end "End Game" ends up very ordinary despite a cast which features Cuba Gooding Jr., James Woods, Anne Archer, Burt Reynolds and Angie Harmon.

After years of protecting the President, Agent Alex Thomas (Cuba Gooding Jr. - Rat Race) has grown close, a loyal friend and a keeper of secrets. So when the President is assassinated on his watch it hits him hard, blaming himself for the loss of not only a leader but also a friend. But when plucky investigative journalist Kate Crawford (Angie Harmon - Fun with Dick and Jane) approaches him with proof the assassin wasn't working alone he bucks himself up to start digging around. But the more he and Kate discover the deeper the conspiracy goes.

Angie Harmon as Kate Crawford in End Game (2006)

So here we go "End Game" is a very familiar movie, dead President, secret service and a mystery as to who is behind it. It isn't a fresh idea and there have been several notable movies over the years about this sort of conspiracy where we have the loyal secret service agent going above and beyond to discover the truth. And like with these other movies "End Games" boils down to a couple of things, the various moments of action as people try and kill both Alex and Kate and of course the answer to who is behind it all.

Now when it comes to the action in "End Game" it is ordinary, car chase, car careering down hill, man running in street with a gun there is nothing new or better going on here. And then there is the mystery and of course we have various less than subtle hints as to who may be involved in the assassination of the President. Maybe it is the retired General who is a friend of Alex's, maybe it is the senior Secret Service agent or maybe it is another agent or even someone who we would never expect. I won't say who but I will say that the resolution to this is for me laughable, maybe a twist but one which is a step too far.

And to be honest that is really it because other than Angie Harmon looking strongly like a 70s Ali MacGraw the performances are as ordinary as the movie. Cuba Gooding Jr. does action hero, James Woods does a bit of being suspicious and Anne Archer does ever so innocent. It is forgettable because the characters are just too typical with Peter Green playing yet another bad guy.

What this all boils down to is that "End Game" is just an ordinary action thriller which is meant to entertain by the mystery of who is behind it all. It doesn't grab you enough and ends up just a walk through of various cliches, not bad, just mot memorable.