Crime, Drama, Thriller

The Badger Game (2014)

Comments Off on The Badger Game (2014) 03 October 2016


Studio: Intervision Picture Corp

Theatrical Release: September 26, 2014 (Arizona Underground Film Festival)

Blu Ray Release: November 24, 2015 

Director(s): Joshua Wagner and Thomas Zambeck

Not Rated 

Review by Vidal Granandos 

Badger game (baj-er) (geym) noun –A scheme in which a married “mark” is tricked into a compromising position and blackmailed. How far are you willing to go to get your ultimate revenge?

Alex (Augie Duke) was once the side girl of cheating husband millionaire Liam (Sam Boxleitner). Alex devises a scheme to get even with her former lover. Along with her ex-best friend Shelly (Jillian Leigh), Alex’s brother Kip (Patrick Cronen) and another one of Liam’s mistresses Jane (Sasha Higgins), the group kidnaps Liam from a bar. They tie Liam up in their garage hoping that he will give them two million, so they won’t ruin his marriage through blackmail. What can go wrong with such an ambitious amateur heist? Anything and everything. Just when the group has a reason to celebrate the plan soon begins to fall apart.

Shelly accidentally leaves her tap open at the bar where they kidnapped Liam. Meanwhile Liam literally cuts himself free from being tied to a chair and escapes the house. The group has to act quickly on hiding their traces and getting Liam back. They eventually close Shelly’s tap and Liam gets picked up on the side of the road by a random car. He thinks he’s saved to find out the people in the car are Alex and Shelly, only to realize they are the ones who abducted him. When the girls and Kip get Liam back inside but see the playboy won’t stop bleeding, learning that Liam is a hemophiliac. Now they have to find a way to keep Liam alive if they want get their money. There are many turns along the way that continue to keep this movie exciting to watch.

The movie does a great job with its pacing. Right from the start it’s abundantly clear what each character’s motives and their relationships are to one another. Shelly is no longer friends with Alex, but is a single mom who can use the money to support her daughter. Alex is an obsessed ex-girlfriend who is still in love and wants to get revenge for letting Liam fuck her in the ass. Jane is a stripper who wants to torture him as he did to her. Kip is a meathead who wants to help his sister and get the cash.

Liam on the other hand is a piece of shit. Our introduction to Liam is seeing him fuck a big-breasted beauty while afterward he lies to his wife over the phone saying he was busy at a company meeting. Liam is a compulsive liar and cheater that deserve what’s coming to him. At the same time no one else is a saint either. He’s never so unlikable that you hate him throughout the entire movie. In fact sometimes you feel sorry for him but realize what he has done to women was just as bad, if not worse.

The four kidnappers wear creepy animal masks to hide their identity. The use of blood is solid as it looks real most of the time. The usage of weapons and drugs affects characters’ psyche throughout the movie and are vital in the climax.

I love that the movie teases you of what’s to come. People and items will be introduced casually without seeming important, only to pop up later and having an impact on the plot. The film does a great job of explaining terminology for chemicals, diseases, and beliefs said in conversations incase the audience isn’t sure what they mean. I like that this film tries to educate the viewer on why characters commit certain actions because it is key to their character’s development.

Use of music in this movie definitely deserves a special mention. There is no background music during scenes of dialogue. Instead music is only used during violent moments, sex scenes or when a person is alone to reflect. This is a great way to emphasize their thoughts and emotions. The type of music used is specific to that scene. Smooth Motown is played while Liam is wooing Shelly at the bar, rock music when they are scaring Liam in the garage or a slow piano solo when each character seems to be at their breaking point. This was a perfect way to make sequences more intense once the music begins playing. It’s a queue to the viewer that something enjoyable is about to happen.

The picture quality is very good in this film. The high definition really makes this a beautiful movie to watch and violent scene more gruesome. Audio for the film is okay. The only problem I really had was when music would start playing, the volume would get pretty loud, to the point of overpowering characters conversations at times. Again there is no background music for the most part of the film so this is not that big of a deal, just a little inconvenient. Also, there were one or two times where people would mumble their lines and it would be hard to make out what they had said.

As for special features, the movie has an audio commentary track with the actors, directors and the movies composer London May. The other feature this movie has to offer is the movie’s premiere in Los Angeles. We get to see both director/producer/writer Joshua Wagner and Thomas Zambeck talk about how this collaboration came together. The actors praise the two directors for their dedication to the script and everyone’s hard work. This is a proud moment and everyone involved seems happy for what they were able to accomplish together.

In the end revenge is never the answer. This movie was a thrill to watch from start to finish. Just when you thought nothing else could go wrong, it did. There weren’t many parts in The Badger Game that felt slow or where you got frustrated thinking the character was too stupid for messing up. It is an amateur kidnapping so mistakes would happen. How they react and adapt to each situation is believable. The movie comes to a satisfying conclusion that is sure to please everybody.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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