Ice-T, I am done with your films.
To many, this might seem like common sense. But there is good in you Ice-T; I have seen it.
Maybe I am holding onto the exceptions to the rule, “New Jack City” and “Trespass”, I don’t know. But after “Leprechaun in the Hood” and this film, you don’t have a free pass to the head of Netflix Instant Queue.
“Surviving the Game” had such promise.
The cast: Ice-T, Rutger Hauer, Gary Busey, Charles Dutton, and F. Murray Abraham: a nice mix of slumming thespians and hammy scene chewers.
The premise: A group of hunters lure me out to the wilderness and hunt them as game, hence the clever title. It is not the most unique premise, but I thought with the actors involved and the right spin it could be something special.
All I kept thinking was that “Hard Target” was so much more fun than this. Both films shared the same storyline, a lead with a ridiculous hair cut and a great supporting cast.
But “Hard Target” had a scene where JCVD knocks out a snake with a punch to the head
a stone cold, cajun spewing, horseback riding, arrow slinging diabetes slayer in Wilford Brimley and a proven action director in John Woo. You never had a chance Ice-T.
I looked up the director of “Surviving the Game” Ernest R. Dickerson on IMDB. The man has grown since that film. He has helmed some episodes from some of my favorite shows: “E.R.”, “The Wire”, ‘Treme” and “The Walking Dead”.
But none of that helped Ice-T et all back in 1994.
There are some decent moments in “Surviving the Game”, but they are fleeting. I cannot even remember the path or a specific moment where Ice-T went from depressed loner to a vengeance machine.
I think it happened when he was chatting with Dr. Cox in a cave, but it never felt real, earned. This is the same guy who at the beginning of the film cried over his dead dog (played by the worst dead dog prop ever) and got his butt kicked by the cabbie?
Perhaps if his character were played by someone with an ass-kicking pedigee I could have let it slide. But a dread-locked rapper with a weak build? No dice.
When you sit through a film waxing poetic about “Hard Target” it is impossible to recommend it. “Surviving the Game” is not for you, well, unless you really have Busey addiction that you need to satiate. If that is case might I recommend “Predator 2?” or “Point Break”?
“Surviving the Game” is available on Netflix Streaming.