Projections - Movie Reviews

Reindeer Games

The characters sing Christmas carols, buy a tree and disguise themselves in Santa Clause suits; by the looks of this film, it must have been scheduled for a Christmas release.  Perhaps they should have shelved it a bit longer.

Ben Affleck plays Rudy, a prisoner sharing his cell with Nick (James Frain).  Both men are about to be set free and trying to stay out of trouble until the big day arrives.

Nick had been corresponding with Ashley (Charlize Theron), a pretty young girl he met through a convict magazine.  He plasters her pictures all over his walls and reads her letters to his cell mate so often, Rudy feels like he knows her.  So, when Nick gets hurt during a prison riot and Rudy is released, he runs into Ashley's arms pretending to be Nick.

However, Rudy goes from one bad situation to another as when Ashley's creepy brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise), looking especially scary with greasy hair and bulging muscles, shows up.

Gabriel heads a gang of even creepier-looking gun runners who want Rudy, thinking he is Nick, to help them rob a Michigan Indian casino where Nick had once worked as a security guard.

The Michigan setting is snowy, cold and remote.  Other than the main characters, few people appear in this town.  In fact, the large motel where the gang hides out, is totally desolate.

The stars have little to do but beat each other, scream demands or threaten to kill one another.  The dialogue is repetitive and silly.

I usually like Sinise's performances, but here he is over-the-top; trying to act mean, he almost hisses when he speaks.

For an action film, it's not very exciting and it ends with a disappointing, thud.

Reindeer Games

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