Monday, December 15, 2014
Game Of Assassins (2013) Movie Review (AKA 'The Gauntlet' 2013)
Originally titled 'The Guantlet', and released to the festival circuit in 2013, 'Game Of Assassins' follows a band of unsuspecting people abducted for the pleasure of a twisted human group who are destined to punish those who have taken a life, by putting them in a crazy 'Saw' like situation with the exception is that in 'Game of Assassins' they must traverse a medieval type labyrinth maze wrought with peril. Incidentally, the review is for the Lion's Gate home DVD release, with screener provided by the director Matt, for Dan's Movie Report.
After the opening montage 'Game of Assassins' begins with David (Warren Kole) sitting on a, for lack of better words "mound of death" thrust into an unfamilier dungeon in an unsuspecting manner, The first person he encounters in his new found hell is Jin (Dustin Nguyen) The two scuffle for a bit, quite good action, then realize they are trapped down in a private hell.
Director Matt Eskandari makes sure we see the surrounding vision of Adam Lawson 's screenplay. The audience is treated to both the hear and now, showing the atmosphere and physical horrid qualities of the toturous realm. Each character we meet along the way of this sordid adventure has a unique story of terror on how they ended up, this is told through a short flashback montage. For a film that runs appx. 80 total minutes including credits. the characters are rather well developed, along the fly.
Next in 'Game of Assassins', David and Jin come across Emma (Jaime Ray Newman ) and Tyler (Nick Lane) The two represent the "younger crowd" stating they were on vacation prior to being trapped. A bit further along in the film we learn, and no it is not a spoiler, as it is 14 minutes in, the true nature of the story. 'Gideon's Escape', four levels one way in and one way to move from level to level is the private hell the group are encased in. The remainder of the film, I will not spoil, has the four of them plus a few other characters they meet along the way trying to survive and escape, ah to what end?
Perhaps the highlight of the film for me is the complex character Kim Lee (Bai Ling). By actually introducing her a bit later in the film as a mysterious type of combination protagonist and antagonist, the story gets more philosophical and forces the other characters to examine their own philosophical values. Bai does a great job of delivering enigmatic and mysterious lines trying to play on Jin's fears and playing her own brand of survivor haha, trying to be friends, and trying to be deceptive to the other characters. Bai has come a long way since becoming clean and sobre, her positive zeal for acting has definitely returned. Back in 2011, I was lucky enough to conduct a short interview with Bai, Click on this link (http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2011/08/bai-ling-raw-and-unfiltered-c-2011.html )
There is action, suspense, and a pretty cool payoff in the end. 'Game of Assassins' is tightly filmed, no wasted time filler. The characters move from level to level, and go on the combination treasure hunt and deception all as a means to survive. Overall I really liked 'Game of Assassins', the film rates a 9 out of 10, on the buy because of Bai scale! Seriously though, everyone involved in the film did a great job, the film is full of twists and turns!.
Finally special mention to LionsGate for releasing many films that would perhaps not see a wider audience, as an independent writer, I enjoy their zeal for the under ground film community, while releasing big films. For more info: http://www.lionsgate.com/
The film is available on Amazon @