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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on April 19, 2015
Ice-T is a homeless person in Seattle. He has some street smarts and is used to roughing it. He is selected by a group of hunters to be their prey in a remote location. The group is lead by Rutger Hauer and has a Gary Busey crazy character in it. Formula film. You know how it ends. Decent for what it was.

Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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on February 1, 2004
For all of you who say this movie isn't worth it, this movie has been in my collection for some time now, and every once and a while I pull it out and watch it over and over. It is one of the best action movies out there...and its a break from the same old predictible movie that everyone always gets tired of. It gets five stars from me because it touches you and disgusts you because they hunt this man. It's a very exciting movie, and it leaves you at the end of your seat, which is a lot more I can say for some of the newer movies.
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on January 19, 2004
I have always liked this movie. I think it's interesting, fun & it's got some really good actors in it. I would never pay more than $10 for it, and now I get it for $6.99 and for that reason, it is in my collection.
Once again we have a movie where some hunters hunt down a human instead of an animal. A bum that lives on the streets named Mason (Ice T) gets approached by a man (Charles S. Dutton) who works at a shelter about a possible job opportunity. The job is being a hunting guide for a group of hunters. The leader of the hunters is Rutger Hauer, who is once again playing the bad guy. Mason is led to believe this is just a job. He is then led to a cabin in the middle of nowhere and everyone sits down to dinner. They drink a bit, converse and you get to meet the characters. Mason soon learns, however, that he is the prey. He wakes up in the morning to Dutton holding a pistol in his face and Hauer explaining what the game is.
The game is that the hunters (Hauer, Dutton, Gary Busey, & F. Murray Abraham, John C. McGinley, & William McNamara) will eat a leasurely breakfast while Mason can run for his life. After breakfast, the hunters will then go hunt their prey.
It's kind of an interesting plotline. I know it's been done over and over in movies, but the characters are what makes this movie fun. Each one has their own personality. Hauer plays the cool bad guy. Dutton plays off him very well and tricks Ice T. Busey plays the insane role better than anyone. McGinley makes a good, big Texan. And Abraham & McNamara play a good psycho-father, good-son combo. The Ice T character is really hurt by the fact that Ice T can't act his way out of a paper sack. He has never been a good actor. He never will be a good actor. And I don't see why all these rappers think they need to be in movies. If they have talent (Ice Cube isn't too bad depending on the role), that's fine. Ice T doesn't have any acting talent.
But, you don't watch this movie to see acting talent. You watch it to be entertained for two hours. The movie definately delivers in that area. It's a testosterone filled ride that most guys should love and will purchase for the low price it is selling at.
This is a pretty bare-bones DVD. It's got a trailer and cast biographies. That's about it. Kinda disappointing, but expected from a movie like this.
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on July 8, 2009
This is simply a great movie of the action genre. Superb entertainment that is not only action packed, but the storyline and character development in this film is far superior to your typical action movie.

The cast in this film is also above average. Ice-T does a wonderful job displaying a decent man down on his luck that is forced to defend himself against a slew of recreational criminals and psychopaths in an isolated mountain retreat. Rutger Hauer and Charles Dutton are devilishly evil as the two psychopathic leaders of the homicidal game they organized, and Gary Busey is simply terrifying as the wacko psychiatrist. F. Murray Abraham is excellent as the arrogant "big shot" who gets in way over his head and sacrifices the life of his son in the process.

Kudos also have to go out to the director, Ernest R. Dickerson, and the screenwriter, Eric Bernt, who created a fast paced action film that nevertheless had sometimes moving or very intense dialogue, again something that you rarely find in an action film. They can both be very proud of this project.

If you are looking for a great action film that offers something special, then "Surviving the Game" is for you.
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on December 5, 2002
I can see why this movie isn't very expensive, despite all the good actors like Gary Busey, Rutger Hauer, and John C. McCinley. No, Ice-T is NOT a good actor.... But, back to the movie review. The first 20 minutes or so is pretty boring. Just Ice T's life as a homeless man. Loses his dog and is 97 year old friend.... Then he gets what he thinks might be a good job as a hunting guide in the wilderness of Oregon or Washington or somewhere up there. Then the movie gets good for a while. The whole dinner scene is great. Gary Busey is perfect here. Of course, Ice T hurts the scene with his bad acting. The next morning they sort of let him know that's he will be the prey they'll be hunting and they give him a head start. The movie is still good at this point. Unfortunately, the first person who dies is Gary Busey. He was the best part of the whole movie. I think he should have lasted longer. He could have saved the rest of this movie. After his death, the movie ...doesn't get better. It's just the rest of them chasing Ice T around, he's setting booby traps, same old stuff. If it weren't for Rutger Hauer, I probably never would have finished watching this movie. It is interesting to see Charles Dutton as a bad guy chasing a black guy. I never thought I'd see that. Bottom line: Get the dvd for under 10 dollars at most places, watch the first 45 minutes or so, then trade it in at some used cd/dvd store.
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on August 27, 2001
This movie is worth seeing for Ice T alone. He's brilliant. As an actor, he's not technically skilled...but he definitely gets himself into his role and does a lot more with his natural ability than many actors could do after years and years of training. As a modern day adaptation of "The Most Dangerous Game" (which is a truly phenomenal film -- if you watched this one, you should check that earlier film out -- you will be amazed for several reasons), this film shoots itself in the foot by giving the "game" away in the opening titles. But it makes up for that by developing the story of the central character played by Ice T and using that character as a more deeply imagined hero. As Mason, a way down and out homeless man, Ice T is very convincing. He seems to have been driven nearly wild even as the film on the streets surviving like an animal. Willing to stop at little or nothing to stay alive. But then life turns dramatically sour even for Mason and he wants a way out. Ready to kill himself, he is pulled back from the brink and offered a chance to get on his feet. Mason is a fighter and he accepts the offer. Grudgingly...but with the appreciation that this could be his only chance. He is then brought to a wilderness cabin thinking he will act as a hunting guide. The crew of actors who play the hunting group are amazing -- all of them have made careers out of being wonderful sociopaths. And at times, things get a little hammy but director Ernest Dickerson -- making a very interesting choice of projects here -- keeps things from going too far over the top. In no time at all, the hunt is on and Mason realizes what his role is in it. He must survive the challenge using his wits and his will. From that point on, the movie runs at a breakneck pace -- pausing shortly to catch its breath. Toward the end, there is one major continuity goof (night in the wilderness lasts only about 10 minutes and then the sun appears again approaching midday)...but you can ignore it and pay attention to the action. That's what films like this are about afterall. Enjoy the ride and don't examine it too much.
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on May 20, 2000
You've heard about southern prejudice where humans are hunted for sport. Ernest Dickerson does a good job of balancing his cast where he establishes that this story is not about white on black crime. Ice T is a transvient who becomes convinced by Charles Dutton to accept an offer to go hunting. After being flown to a remote cabin in the woods, T finds out that he is the one being hunted the next morning. Ice T is convincing but works little on dialogue to make his character likeable and Dutton is so likeable that he fools everybody. The setup is too confusing. Not until Gary Buseys dinner speech do we feel something is about to happen. Ice T could've been less hardened at first making his heroic chracter more likeable. The scenery is beautiful and editing well done. Good performances by some great actors like Gary Busey and F Murray Abraham. This adventure into the dark side of the human mind is very predictable with some minor surprises. Not executed well enough to be for everybody. If you like psychologcal thrillers, you'll accept the movies shortcomings. Ice T as well as many actors from hip hop need to work on they're three dimensions of character. To Ice T's credit though he's good at geting the bad guys!
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on December 12, 1999
For all this movie has going for it, nothing can overcome the weak dialogue and limp direction. Once the action kicks in it doesn't let up until the movie's climax and the villains are more than hissable.
Ice-T turns in an okay performance as Jack Mason, a man unwittingly hired to be the human prey for a bunch of rich psychos who have nothing left to get pleasure from other than "breaking necks with their bares hands". The bad guys are plentiful and are better written than Ice-T's character.
Gary Busey has (an unfortunately small) role as Doc Hawkins who killed his beloved dog when he was 12 and has never looked back in the kill=fun department.
John C. McGinley is John Griffin, a Texas oil tycoon who is convinced that Mason is the man who stalked and killed his daughter. He really goes over the edge and becomes some sort of obsessive maniac.
F. Murray Abraham is Mr. Wolfe, "the most feared man on Wall Street" who proves that not all suits are wimpy, upper-class and civilized and wants his son Wolfe Jnr (William McNamara) to be the same way.
Rutger Hauer and Charles S. Dutton play Thomas Burns and Walter Cole, the men who organise and arrange the hunt but do not actually participate in it.
With all this character set up there is zero dialogue that is even slightly memorable or quoteable and the direction leaves a lot to be considered. But Stewart Copelands ace musical score and the beautiful Pacific Northwest scenery make up for that. I suggest that you buy this DVD if you can get a good price on it....
The DVD is in Dolby 5.1 and is anamorphically enhanced at 1.85:1.
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on June 15, 1999
I saw Hard Target after I saw this amazing film, and it simply pales in comparison. Rutger Hauer leads an outstanding cast with whispered lines that make you think... I first saw this film as an adventurous action flick, but I knew I had missed something in the script. Carefully watching it again, I saw the finer elements of this film which makes it stand out from so many others. The whole parallel between humans, hunters, and the hunted is placed before you. The Gary Busey character reveals it all, as the group taste, talk to, touch, feel, and finally start to consume their victim. Needless to say I loved this part, and it makes the whole film fall together brilliantly. I'm sure there are other films out there which follow this theme, but I can't see how this one could not be the cream of the crop.
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on October 10, 2001
Albeit in a somewhat campy vein. I think I like the dialogue of "Surviving the Game" more than any other aspect of the film. I guess I'm a dialogue kind of guy. I love Richard Crenna's speeches in "First Blood," Arnold's in "Conan"--I walk around quoting them--(how's that for honesty, folks!)--and I quote from this movie often. Rutger Hauer delivers his lines as only he can ("consume it--slowly"), Gary Busey is, well, Gary Busey ("the purity of your primal essence"), and F. Murray Abraham ("four HUNDRED dollars"), Charles Dutton ("you don't want to be slow tomorrow"), John C. McGinley ("don't take my shot") et al., put in honest performances what am I talking about here.
BASICALLY I want to buy this video because every time it's on TV they censor it...
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