Combustible Celluloid Review - Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders (2022), Brian Buccellato, Sean McNamara, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Will Sasso, Jon Voight, Laura Mennell, Megan Charpentier, Dylan Playfair, Kaya Coleman, Skyler Shaye, Bradley Stryker
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With: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Will Sasso, Jon Voight, Laura Mennell, Megan Charpentier, Dylan Playfair, Kaya Coleman, Skyler Shaye, Bradley Stryker
Written by: Brian Buccellato
Directed by: Sean McNamara
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, gore, and language throughout
Running Time: 96
Date: 10/21/2022

Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders (2022)

1 Star (out of 4)

No 'Clue'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Perhaps a low-budget attempt to find an intersection between Knives Out and Saw, this gory, nasty murder mystery skims over the mystery part and collapses into a thunderstorm of hateful shouting.

Pharmaceutical magnate Ellison Betts (Jon Voight) is celebrating a birthday and has invited his family to spend some time at his new remote compound. His passive son Alec (Will Sasso) arrives with his wife Marie (Laura Mennell) and snarky teen daughter Livie (Megan Charpentier). Alec and Marie's older son Cameron (Dylan Playfair) arrives separately with his girlfriend Tara (Kaya Coleman). And Ellison's other son, Kyle (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) — who now runs the family business — arrives with his girlfriend Joy (Skyler Shaye).

Otherwise, Burnham (Bradley Stryker), Ellison's servant, is there. After some drinks and gift-opening, an alarm goes off and storm doors descend. The family is trapped in the house. A voice announces that they must play a game. Beating the game will buy their freedom. But there are consequences for not playing the game...

The three name stars (Voight, Rhys Meyers, and Sasso) are the most unpleasant among the cast of Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders, with Voight and Rhys Meyers nearly dripping with venom and rage, while Sasso lacks the confidence to tangle with them. The movie can't cut through the negativity to find their humanity; we just watch them go at it. It's hard to have much sympathy for the Cameron character, whose demise is purely based on his lack of intelligence (although is no less gruesome).

The women are more interesting, thankfully; they're the ones that actually try to play the game and save the day. But it's hard to get too excited about them in a movie that allows a cat to be ground up by a garbage disposal (and shows the bloody corpse) and shows a character eating a popped-out eyeball from a recent stabbing victim. These are hardcore gore images, and out of place for a movie that seems to want to be sophisticated and clever.

The entire thing reeks of disdain; it's a far cry from Clue or Ready or Not or its other inspirations. Admittedly, the movie does a good job of hiding its ultimate secret, but at the same time, half of the big reveal doesn't make any sense. If Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders fools you, you feel picked on, rather than being in on the fun.

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