Retro Review: Reindeer Games

Reindeer Games is a excellent opportunity for Ben Affleck to certify himself as a bankable star. So I guess the nagging question is he just that?

Reindeer Games opens with a Ben reflecting upon his life and how he so badly wants a change when his release happens in three days.

During that evenings meal in the prison cafeteria, Ben witnesses his best friend being killed right before his eyes.

Depressed and beside himself he delves into his best friend’s belongings and begins to fall in love with the woman his friend had been writing to. Her name is Ashley and she is the type of woman who steals his breath away.

Three days later, Ben walks out of the prison and into a snowy day.

Out of the corner of his eye he can make out an anxious Ashley who seems confused as the last prisoner exits and her love isn’t among the men. Guilt ridden Ben becomes his best friend and promises that he won’t spoil this girl’s holidays. Just as they are getting friendly Ben comes face to face with Ashley’s sadistic brother and is forced to partake in a high stakes casino robbery.

Reindeer Games is good, could have been an excellent thriller if it had a deeper script. But from what director John Frankenheimer and his stars had to work with they pulled off quite an entertaining film.

Frankenheimer’s last movie was the very entertaining “Ronin” which had great mood and action. The biggest surprise of the film has to be Theron and without giving anything away shows a lot of depth and diversity as she did in “Three Days in the Valley.”

Theron continues her growing as an actor and scene stealing films from the stars. Reindeer Games also allows Affleck to show that he can be as charismatic and bankable as his shadow Matt Damon and that he could easily be an up incoming action star.

(3.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

Written: February 29, 2000

One thought on “Retro Review: Reindeer Games

  1. Never have I been a fan of Ben Affleck the Action Hero. I argue that he’s at his best when he’s in low-key parts, like Damon’s pal in “Good Will Hunting,” “Chasing Amy” or the more recent “Extract.” Or, given how good “Gone Baby Gone” was, maybe he should go behind the camera.

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