After being imprisoned for six years on a grand theft auto charge, Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) is days away from release as is his cellmate Nick (James Frain) who is is serving a two year sentence on a separate charge. Nick has a number of pictures from a romantic correspondence with a woman named Ashley he has never met but is waiting for his release. Rudy is looking forward to returning to his family and having a fresh cup of hot chocolate. Nick is killed defending Rudy during a prison riot. When Rudy Is released the next day from prison he recognizes Ashley waiting outside the prison for Nick and Rudy takes his place and pretends to be Nick. Nick had spoken of his previous employment in security with an Indian casino and Rudy finds himself involved with Ashley's criminal gun runner brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise). Rudy is violently coerced to cooperate with a Christmas Eve casino robbery scheme that Gabriel and his gang have been planning with Nick's casino knowledge as the key. Things...Written by
In Europe, this film was alternatively called and released as 'Deception', since reindeer are uncommon in the continent. See more »
In the pool scene with Gary Sinise and Charlize Theron, Charlize glass changes hands between takes. See more »
To tell ya the truth, I never was much for the holidays. It's been forever since I'd known a holiday, since I'd seen my family, since I'd been with a girl, since I'd driven a car. You see, cars are what put me here - Iron Mountain, Maximum Security Prison. I was riding a hard five for grand theft auto. Meanwhile, most of my esteemed raping and murdering colleagues were up for parole in three. The world works like that sometimes. All the time, in my experience. ...
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The director's cut features around 20 minutes of extra and re-edited footage. Included are new and extended scenes between Rudy and Ashley discussing their situation when kidnapped by Gabriel. Also included is an extended and more graphic version of the scene where Gabriel throws darts as Rudy, also a scene where he heals his wounds from the darts is included as well as an extended love scene. Other changes include the omission of "Love Rollercoaster" from the casino scene, which is replaced by a longer version with a much more suspense twist to it. Finally, another scene is extended where Gabriel shoots the ice around a fisherman sending him into the freezing lake to die as opposed to the original version which merely hinted at his killing the man. See more »
Would've been better with just a touch of more action
I though REINDEER GAMES was a pretty good movie, especially compared to some other movies of the year 2000 so far, but I think there should have been a little more action than there actually was. There was quite a lot of buildup to the casino robbery, but when it finally got there, not much happened. The ending was very good. Just when you think you've identified all the twists, there's another one right there.
Rudy (Ben Affleck), a car-thief, and his cellmate Nick (James Frain), a guy who killed another man while defending his girlfriend, are both about to be freed from jail when Nick is murdered during a lunch fight. Rudy decides to pretend to be him when his pen-pal-like girlfriend Ashley (Charlize Theron), who never met Nick before, comes to find him. The two really hit it off and things are going well, until Ashley's brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise) finds Rudy and threatens to kill him if he doesn't help them get into and rob a casino, which the real Nick previously worked at.
The plot is actually pretty cool, but it's hard to believe that this bunch of idiot-thieves would really believe that this was the real Nick, even after he told them time after time that he wasn't. There are many great twists at the end which leads to an unpredictable, although somewhat unbelievable, ending. The characters are pretty cool, about half of which turn out to be different from whom you originally thought.
Ben Affleck, new to the action genre, did a pretty good job. After proving himself to be able to play very different parts, like in Dogma, Armageddon and now this, I think he is really going places. Charlize Theron did an OK job as well as the mysterious girlfriend of Nick. Gary Sinise stole the show. I really like this guy. Boy can he act! He's played so many different characters very well. Gary doesn't do as well as the villain as he did in SNAKE EYES or RANSOM, but he still did a very good and believable job.
The main flaw in this movie was the lack of action until the end. The casino robbery itself should've been more action-packed, like it seemed on the commercial. Even in the ending there was more irony and surprise than there was action. But the story and was action was there was still very well done. I'd recommend this movie over many of the movies out now.
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