Reindeer Games

Bomb Rating: 

When star power becomes more important than brain power, movies like "Reindeer Games" get made. Ben Affleck as an ex-con? Charlize Theron as an inmate's lonely pen-pal? Give me a break.

Putting aside the fact that somebody who looked like Ben Affleck would walk out of maximum security requiring a beach towel to wipe his ass, Ben should certainly know enough to realize that somebody like Charlize Theron could not, in a million years, be interested in writing to prison inmates. I mean, either she's dumb as a chimp or she has a nefarious plan -- either way, it's a relationship that can't end well.

Even director John Frankenheimer admits how stupid all of this looks, because his characters address the plot flaws every chance they get. There's a tremendous amount of dialogue devoted to this very exercise: trying to explain away the film's inexplicable plot.

By the end of the film, coincidences start tripping over each other like paraplegics at a miracle workers rally. Rudy (Affleck) gets out of prison and has his fling with Ashley (Theron) only to discover that Ashley's bro, Gabriel (Gary Sinise), has other plans for him that involve robbing a casino. The premise of every single event in the film rests on the belief that Ben Affleck is smarter and more crafty than any of the other characters, yet he's not able to deduce that anybody who looks like Ashley and writes prison inmates for fun might as well have a neon sign surgically implanted in her ass that blinks "TROUBLE" every few seconds.

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