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Survive the Game

USA 2021
produced by
Alex Eckert, Randall Emmett, George Furla, Luillo Ruiz, Mark Stewart, Chad A. Verdi, Lee Broda (executive), Alastair Burlingham (executive), Stephen J. Eads (executive), Ted Fox (executive), Matthew Helderman (executive), Timothy C. Sullivan (executive), Luke Taylor (executive), Chad A. Verdi jr (executive) for Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, The Pimienta Film Co., River Bay Films, Verdi Productions
directed by James Cullen Bressack
starring Chad Michael Murray, Bruce Willis, Swen Temmel, Michael Sirow, Kate Katzman, Sean Kanan, Simon Phillips, Zack Ward, Adam Huel Potter, Donna D'Errico, Jose S. Vázquez, Kristos Andrews, Ronal Tejeda, Jonathan González, Ramon Vázquez, Yulia Klass, Félix Cortés, Canyon Prince, Daniel Salinas, Sarah Roemer, James Cullen Bressack
written by Ross Peacock, music by Miles Bergsma, stunt coordination by Raul Alcocer

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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It could have been the bust of a lifetime for cops David (Bruce Willis) and Cal (Swen Temmel), who catch a notorious drug gang in the act after years of investigation - but then they get over-ambitious, decide to take the gang without reinforcements, and before you know it, the whole thing has turned into a shoot-out where David is hit and captured while Cal can get away only just, closely followed by psycho couple Mickey (Zack Ward) and Violet (Kate Katzman). Cal makes it to a nearby farm where he and Mickey and Violet have a stand-off - interrupted by the farm owner Eric (Chad Michael Murray), an Iraq veteran who has only recently lost his family and thus suffers from suicidal tendencies. So after he has somehow helped Cal to get away from Mickey and Violet who had the upper hand in the stand-off, he decides to stick around and help Cal rather than run while he still can. Thing is, Mickey and Violet are soon joined by the whole gang, led by Frank (Michael Sirow), and they even bring David as a hostage to lure Cal and Eric out. But while David, wounded as he is, is perfectly capable to take care of himself and use the weaknesses of his captors to his advantage, Cal and Eric manage to keep the whole gang at bay using guerilla warefare tactics. Things only get out of hand when Frank's boss Michael (Kristos Andrews) arrives, and he suffers no fools, even in his own ranks ...

 

A pretty cool piece of cops-and-robbers action thriller that might have been shot on a budget but more than makes up for it with a fast pace, action scenes that replace explosions with actual inventiveness, and a plot that's fittingly skeletal but doesn't insult the audience's intelligence - actually for what it is it's pretty well-written, adds just the right amount of both violence and irony to the proceedings and doesn't shy away from getting dirty should need arise. And both a colourful yet believable cast and fine practical stuntwork make this one fine genre piece in the tradition of solid B pictures of old that certainly deserves a watch.

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
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written by
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