In a dystopian future, after being imprisoned and awaiting execution for crimes he didn’t committed, Rick Tyler, a Navy Seal is given the chance to participate in a gameshow called “Turkey Shoot” where he will be unarmed and chased to death by several manhunters with the promise that if he survives the game’s three levels, he will be set free.
Based on the 1982’s film “Turkey Shoot” (Also known as “Escape 2000”), “Elimination Game” brings a story that we have seen too many times, and honestly, told way better. The film starts very strong, with some hard, crude action sequences (specially a magnicide) but sadly soon after Tyler enters the game, the movie starts loosing it’s energy, and to make matters worse, the way Tyler manages to defeat his hunters is more and more laughable as the story progresses, which would be fine in a comedy or parody, but alas, this film gives the impression that was supposed to be taken seriously.
A lot of the action sequences are rushed and chopped, as if the director didn’t want us see what is going on, and the film at some moments feel like a production made for the Syfy channel, it even has some transition sequences where LITERALY nothing happens hence seem to be made to give us a chance to go the kitchen for snacks.
Now, I need to rant some things that actually bothered me , and I will drop some spoilers, so proceed with caution:
Do you think it’s funny/embarrassing how the Stormtroopers in “Star Wars” pretty much miss their targets all the time? Well, here we have TRAINED NAVY SEALS that can’t hit his taget (our hero) even if he stands IN FRONT OF THEM, mere feet away IN A EMPTY HALLWAY! Neither does another guy with a machine guy that was supposed to be one of the deadliest hunters! There is even a guy with a bazooka/misile launcher that misses Tyler running towards him! (One can argue that he misses on purpose since his target was too close, but Naaah, I don’t think so)
There is also a sniper, that was supposed to be the killer number one in the game, and he gets caught of guard TWICE by Tyler, and he can’t even hit Tyler when it’s dangling from a rope, while an helicopter is taking him away! Really?? Those StormTroopers sure look awesome now, huh?
I guess is worth nothing that they are in the film two females assassins that get killed by their own teammates mere a couple of minutes after entering the game. Honestly, the only cool move I saw thru all the second level was how a guy did the ever-so famous Guile’s Flash Kick (Yes, I’m talking about the Street Fighter II videogame) but after that… Nothing worth writing home about.
Another problem I had with the film was that in the middle of a car chase, one character that is helping Tyler to escape causes intentionally other vehicles with innocent people to crash just to escape the police (one can argue that civilian cars looked the same as the police cars, but hey… Whatever) and it’s never addressed how many people was injured (or killed) due to this. Hey, aren’t the hunters supposed to be the bad guys?
The truth of the matter is that I don’t mind if a film tells a story we have heard before, as long it tries to bring some new approach or it’s own twist. “Elimination Game” don’t even tries to do that, and it fails to even entertain greatly due an overdose of clichés (We even got the “There is a video that will clear the guy’s name and it will bring the system to it’s knees” cliché), complemented with some “Reality Tv”-Style cuts that gets tired very soon, and with acting performances that go from plain to bad, even for “Action film” standard, although I did like Dominic Purcell’s performance. The film ends with a third act that was to me was too lazy, that even tried to wrap the third level “Turkey Shoot” with a music video montage that is anticlimactic, to say the least.
Honestly, I would love to say that “Elimination Game” (I don’t know why they changed the film’s title instead of using the original “Turkey Shoot”) was a fun film, with non-stop action and a great way to loose yourself for a couple of hours, but it got too many flaws and it gets boring so quick, that I can only recommend it with heavy alcohol intake, or while doing housework ,on other circumstances, I’d strongly advise to seek some of other films that used the same plot before, and way better, be sure do it before somebody remakes “The Running Man”, too.
The film was directed by Jon Hewett and on the cast we have Dominic Purcell (Killer Elite, Prison Break), Viva Bianca (Spartacus) and Robert Taylor
Elimination Game” has a June 26th VOD and limited theater release.