Extreme Game (1996)

Directed by
For the adventurous only
Reviewed by Simon on 2012-05-24

A group of teenage friends like nothing more than playing paintball with their paint-pistols, and posing like action heroes.  A corporate celebration on a boat means that a huge office block will be left deserted, and the kids can get the keys.  They decide this would be the perfect place for a game.  Alas!  The vacant office building is also an irresistable temptation for an escaped convict and his gang, who want to rob the building and blow it up.  No doubt the kids will get caught up in this, na?

Extreme Game is a slightly schizophrenic movie.  In parts it seems to be trying quite hard to be a serious action thriller, and in others it falls victim to some extremely goofy humour.  It's like watching Die Hard, and somebody stealing the remote and periodically switching over to watch a bit of Home Alone.  This is not necessarily a bad thing - nothing worse than a movie that doesn't dare deviate from "genre" - but I found the comedy mostly annoying.  Actually it was mostly one character, who I really wanted to get shot or blown up or dropped from the top of the building most of the time.

The other characters are quite likeable though (good guys and bad), though the kids don't show terribly much depth beyond their good looks and white teeth.  The two girls in the group impress sufficiently on that front that I was happy to forget the fact that the two non-annoying boys were rather forgettable.

The movie still doesn't dare deviate too far from action movie formula... which is actually quite helpful, as it made it easier to follow what was happening despite quite the worst subtitle translation I've seen in a long time.  Makes the average Mei Ah translation look fluent.  It's clear that only the barest minimum of the content gets translated, and even when they do try to translate something, there's only a 50:50 chance it will make any sense at all.

If it weren't for the subtitle translation, I'd probably give Extreme Game a recommendation with caution - not bad if you like that sort of thing.  With the subtitles on the Thai DVD though, I'd have to say it's recommended for the adventurous only.