By Anthony Miele | February 24, 2000

Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) and his cellmate Nick (James Frain), are two prison buddies who are just about to be released from successfully serving a six-year sentence. Suddenly Nick is dead and Rudy, being a loyal and trustworthy guy, is not only impersonating his long-time “friend” but decides to bang his girlfriend (Charlize Theron). After her brother shows up (Gary Sinise now complete with bad facial hair), Rudy realizes that his friend was not quite the “nice and lovable” convicted felon that he originally believed. The events that subsequently occur can only be described as contrived and ridiculous.
Maybe on paper “Reindeer Games” seemed like the smart and sophisticated thriller that it obviously was striving to be, but apparently the transformation to celluloid destroyed all intelligence and replaced it with dreck.
As for Frankenheimer, he has definitely seen better days. Why is the helmer of such greats as “Black Sunday” (1977) and “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962) now directing, not only bad, but unimaginative Ben Affleck action movies? Admittedly Mr. Frankenheimer’s recent choices have been, well, on the awful side, but shouldn’t he have known better, or has he indeed lost whatever it was that he had at one time?
Charlize Theron and Dennis Farina really add nothing to the story, except for maybe some good nudity and witty lines, but once again it is the talents of Affleck, that succeed in making every scene draining. Pray that the words, “Ben Affleck is the biggest action star in the world,” are never uttered in any fashion other than jest.

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