Finishing The Game

"Very Good"

Finishing The Game Review


Finishing the Game is a big fun goof, a gift from leading Asian-American director Justin Lin to all his actor buddies. Everyone from Ron Jeremy to the voice of George Takei puts in an appearance. Clocking in at a brisk 82 minutes (the DVD includes 20 minutes of subplots that Lin wisely chopped out of the final cut), it's one gag after another all the way through.

Set in 1978 and featuring a porntastic wocka-wocka-wocka guitar-driven soundtrack straight out of Shaft, the movie drops us into a smoggy Hollywood, where first-time director Ronney (Jake Sandvig) is setting out to complete The Game of Death, Bruce Lee's unfinished masterpiece. His goal is to shoot additional footage and splice it all together to help his producer dad make money off the Bruce Lee footage he's acquired.

The cattle-call audition to find "the new Bruce Lee," which is supervised by the hilariously foul-mouthed and fast-talking Eloise Gazdag (Meredith Scott Lynn), attracts a large and motley crew of wannabe stars. Among them: Breeze Loo (Roger Fan), a leading Bruce Lee impersonator who has starred in 14 chopsocky flicks in two years (the clips are hilarious); Cole Kim (Sung Kang), a warm-hearted lug who's more interested in pleasing his girlfriend/manager than acting; Tarrick Tyler (McCaleb Burnett), a white guy who's convinced he's Asian; and Troy Poon (Dustin Nguyen), who briefly achieved fame in nine episodes of Golden Gate Gun as a jive-talking cop whose catchphrase, "I ain't gonna do your laundry," swept the nation. (Watch for James Franco as his TV partner.) His agent, played by MC Hammer, of all people, specializes in ethnic or "colored" actors. "Last time I checked, yellow was a color," he notes.

When Ronney and Eloise agree on nothing, chaos ensues. All Ronney wants is someone who looks like Bruce Lee. Eloise's casting technique, however, is to put all the headshots up on a wall and ask herself, "Who would I want to f***?" Why else, she asks, would Charlton Heston get all those great roles? But Ronney can't even agree with her on who he'd like to f***, so they reach an impasse, with Eloise favoring a fey Vietnamese refugee for the part.

Round after round of auditions follow, including one-on-one fights (Cole won't hit his idol Breeze), and screen tests featuring a single line: "You offend me. You offend my family." Amusing diversions abound, including a protest scene at Buddha Bowl, a bowling alley with a mascot of yes, a bowling Buddha, and a casting misunderstanding that leads Cole to the set of The Trombone Thief 3, a porn flick in which he's been cast as the butler. It's hard not to laugh at a title like that. Lin sprinkles such yuks liberally throughout. Finishing the Game is the kind of movie you wish you'll wish you had worked on. You can easily tell how great a time everyone is having, and it's infectious.

Aka Finishing the Game: The Serach for the New Bruce Lee.

Yeah, it offends our family too.



Finishing The Game

Facts and Figures

Run time: 84 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 21st January 2007

Distributed by: IFC First Take

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 35%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 22

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Breeze Loo, as Cole Kim, Monique Gabriela Curnen as Saraghina Rivas, as Eloise Gazdag, as Martey Kurtainbaum, as Ronney Kurtainbaum, as Peter Dowd, Mousa Kraish as Raja, McCaleb Burnett as Tarrick Tyler, as Troy Poon

Also starring: ,

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