Finishing the Game

2007

Finishing the Game

Critics Consensus

Though Justin Lin's premise is precocious enough, the sight gags and comic timing are tired in this mockumentary about Asian typecasting in the 1970s.

35%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 34

48%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,727
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Movie Info

Better Luck Tomorrow and Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift director Justin Lin takes a comic look at a longstanding bit of cinema mythology with this mockumentary exploring the making of Bruce Lee's unfinished final film, Game of Death. When martial arts star Lee died in 1973 after having shot roughly 20 minutes of the full-length feature, director Robert Clouse vowed to complete the film using a Bruce Lee look-alike. Though the film was eventually released into theaters in 1978, fans continue to debate just how much involvement Lee had in the making of the film nearly three decades after the fact. Perhaps viewers will never know for certain just how much of Lee they are seeing in the final product, but in this knowing satire, director Lin offers a hilarious look at how things might have gone down while simultaneously skewering mainstream cinema for its stereotypical treatment of Asian-American actors. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast

Roger Fan
as Breeze Loo
Sung Kang
as Colgate Kim
James Franco
as Rob Force
McCaleb Burnett
as Tarrick Tyler
Dustin Nguyen
as Troy Poon
Jim Parrack
as Frisco Sniper
Monique Gabriela Curnen
as Saraghina Rivas
Vail Bloom
as Cassie
Mousa Kraish
as Raja Moore
Jake Sandvig
as Ronny Kirschenbaum
M.C. Hammer
as Roy Thunder
Sam Bottoms
as Martey Kurtainbaum
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News & Interviews for Finishing the Game

Critic Reviews for Finishing the Game

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (22)

  • This tedious mockumentary isn't even as entertaining as one of Ed Wood's actual films, and once-promising director Justin Lin has some karma to square for fumbling such a sure thing.

    Nov 16, 2007 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Intermittently funny at best, but mostly full of dead air.

    Oct 26, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
    Los Angeles Times
    Top Critic
  • The breezy tone and obvious fun being had by the cast make Finishing the Game a slight, low-key cool cinematic essay on identity politics.

    Oct 25, 2007
  • A very funny, equal-opportunity broadside that targets Asian stereotyping, and not just by non-Asians.

    Oct 19, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • What little potential there is ends up squandered within nanoseconds; as both a parody and a polemic, the film is finished before it's barely begun.

    Oct 6, 2007 | Rating: 1/6

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Finishing The Game doesn't get anywhere that Hollywood Shuffle didn't go to first.

    Oct 5, 2007 | Rating: C

    Noel Murray

    AV Club
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Finishing the Game

  • Apr 23, 2009
    OMG this movie is a trip! Love how it comically, but truthfully portrays the disappointment and racism actors of color face in Hollywood. Roger Fan was spot on as a pretentious, egotistical celebrity, Sung Kang played the innocent, wide-eyed actor from the South, and Brian Tee was almost unrecognizable as an emotionally and physically damaged Vietnam war vet!
    Remi L Super Reviewer
  • May 21, 2008
    At first glance the plot sounds interesting, but at the same time, may be a bit misleading. One may come to expect a serious documentary about replacing Bruce Lee for finishing the <i>Game of Death</i>. Instead the viewer is given a full on mockumentary.<p>What is a mockumentary? Basically, it is a comedic documentary and Justin Lin provides a fairly successful one with this film.</p><p>The style of this film plays out like it is done from the 70's, which is when the original <i>Game of Death</i> is from. The sound effects, the settings, the camerawork, and the costumes all contribute to the 70's look and feel. This film is only 85 minutes long and the first 15 of it is basically character introductions. The rest of the film follows these characters throughout the entire audition process. Just think of the early episodes in a season of <i>American Idol</i>.</p><p>The comedy is fairly consistent, although it does get a little tiresome in the latter parts of the film. The characters are hilarious and so are their lines of dialogue. The situations that the characters are put in set up humorous sequences, which a few of them also intertwine.</p><p>The acting is pretty good. There are a surprisingly number of noticeable faces playing small roles, like M.C. Hammer, James Franco, and Ron Jeremy. Yet, somehow the style of the film makes everybody seem like non-famous celebrities. This is actually a good thing.</p><p>This is not or nowhere near a Bruce Lee martial arts film, but fans of Bruce Lee films, or mockumentaries, may want to check this one out.
    JY S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 07, 2007
    "<i>You offend me. You offend my family.</i>" It's been a wild ride for Justin Lin, and he's the first to concede the pun: that most filmmakers would never have been able to finish his new film, <i>Finishing the Game</i>. Catapulted to fame in 2002 with his high school-themed dark comedy <i>Better Luck Tomorrow</i>, Lin became something of a film festival phenomenon, crossing over into the mainstream as one of the most promising film artists of his generation. But unlike others who have used the festival circuit as a launching pad for sustainable indie careers - think Wes Anderson, Kevin Smith, or Noah Baumbach - Lin's journey has taken a few unexpected turns. No one could've possibly seen this coming. <a href="http://s172.photobucket.com/albums/w25/EarthlyAlien/?action=view¤t=2508489.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w25/EarthlyAlien/2508489.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> F<i>inishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee</i> sets itself in the wake of Bruce Lee's death (1973), where the production of <i>The Game of Death</i> got hung up, pending how to move the film forward. As we now know, old footages of Bruce from previous films, and stand-ins were used to try and complete principle photography so that it could still be released and audiences could lap it up when it is all Bruce Lee the master himself taking care of things up along the pagoda. So herein lies the premise for <i>Finishing the Game</i>, as a mockumentary looking for the next possible Bruce Lee stand in. And the process of doing so is genuinely hilarious, playing to various stereotypes and a throwback to the cheesiness of the '70s with the diverse group of actors and actor wannabes turning up for casting and auditioning. In fact, every character featured has a likeability factor, and you can't help but to laugh along, and laugh at them. The major favourite of mine is Breeze Loo (Roger Fan), a two-bit Asian actor who's a dead ringer for Lee, and the name being a mimicking of the various "Bruce Lee" incantations that erupted in the video-film market with Lee's demise, each starring in various action films copying Lee's signature movements. Watching the "spaghetti" type productions starring Breeze Loo, never fails to bring on rip-roaring laughter from the audience, and the thing is, it's pretty damn funny! Sung Kang (a Justin Lin regular) stars as a happy-go-lucky, always smiling Cole Kim, a struggling actor who can't shake off his smiley face, and Raja (Mousa Kraish), who thinks he's half-Chinese. So does Tarrick Tyler - except this one is white. Then there's one of the most hilarious, Vietnamese actor Dustin Nyugen's Troy Poon, yet another actor in a fictionalized spoof of '70s detective films. His role in "Golden Gate Guns" has to be seen to be believed, and that one-liner of his about doing other people's laundry, makes him a one-liner hit wonder. But it's not all fun and laughter throughout thefilm, as underlying it is a very keen look at the Hollywood of the '70s, where "coloured" folk often got sidelined, or cast to play the villains, bit roles, supporting characters and the likes, I mean, a television series like "Kung Fu" (which Lee had developed himself) with David Carradine in the lead, speaks volumes. Fortunately it's not all that serious, as it skirts around these issues, but you get the point real quickly, about discrimination and unequal opportunities. Mainly though, this is a hell of a fun flick and a very deserving homage to the great and never-forgotten Bruce Lee.
    Pedro P Super Reviewer
  • Jun 07, 2007
    A spastic satire, as producers struggle to replace Bruce Lee.
    William G Super Reviewer

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