Wesley Snipes and Ernie Hudson in Game of Death (2010)

Not Quite Bored to Death

CIA agent Marcus Jones (Wesley Snipes) is on a deep undercover gig where he is to watch over and protect a dangerous arms dealer by the name of Smith (Robert Davi). But it seems someone else has other plans as a group with heavy artillery try to kill him. With Smith alive but having suffered a heart attack during the chaos Marcus begins to suspect that someone else within the CIA is looking for a payday by killing Smith which means Marcus is going to have to protect Smith in the hospital from those other CIA agents.

The chances are I would have watched "Game of Death", which is not to be mistaken with the Bruce Lee movie of the same name, anyway but as I scanned down the cast list I spotted the name Simon Rhee who as bad guy Dae Han Park reminded me of "Best of the Best". Having not seen Simon Rhee in anything for a while along with some other names from the world of action such as Gary Daniels and Zo Bell I had hopes that Snipes' "Game of Death" would be the nonsense action movie which I had been longing for. It wasn't and sadly what spoils what could have been a simple action movie is the over stylized direction.

Gary Daniels in Game of Death (2010)

I said "Game of Death" is simple and it genuinely is as on one side we have CIA agent Jones protecting an arms dealer as part of a top secret mission but on the other we have a group of CIA agents receiving different orders to take Smith down. The hunting ground for this is a hospital as Smith had a heart attack and it should be a case of let the action carry the movie. And the thing is, that is what many who would watch "Game of Death" would want, the fun of Snipes taking down a group of agents with his martial arts skills but also using what he can find in the hospital.

The trouble is that director Giorgio Serafini doesn't do simple and he tries to give "Game of Death" a sense of style a he uses slow motion, close ups, tonal changes and more to try and make it more classy. Unfortunately classy is not what is called for and it ends up a nuisance, dirtying what should be a simple movie and in doing so making it forgettable. Having said that Wesley Snipes delivers a solid performance and it is nice to see a few faces from the world of action in supporting roles even if this action figure collective can't save the movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Game of Death" could have been a fun Wesley Snipes action movie if it wasn't for the over stylized direction which only ends up a distraction.