Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA/Germany, 1997. Warner Bros., Regency Enterprises, Polar Productions, Taurus Film. Screenplay by Robert Farrar, Howard Franklin, based on the novel Watch That Man by Robert Farrar. Cinematography by Robert M. Stevens. Produced by Arnon Milchan, Mark Tarlov. Music by Christopher Young. Production Design by Jim Clay. Costume Design by Janty Yates. Film Editing by Paul Karasick, Pamela Power.
Bill Murray is delightful in this spry comedic version of The Game that combines British wit and American slapstick with impressive flair. He plays a doltish Blockbuster Video employee who comes to London to visit his industrial mogul brother (Peter Gallagher) on the night that the brother is to make a very important presentation to some business associates. Hoping to get rid of his very embarrassing sibling for the evening, Gallagher signs Murray up for “The Theatre Of Life”, a role-playing theatrical activity that allows customers to interact with actors putting on a show, accompanying them through London and experiencing a staged adventure. Unfortunately, Murray gets his signals crossed and accidentally winds up getting involved in real espionage, hooking up with a femme fatale (Joanne Whalley) and hilariously surviving many dangerous situations with incredible ease because of his whimsical luck and nonchalant attitude. The whole time he still believes he’s in a game, while the fate of the British empire rests in his very incapable hands. Rib-tickling situations abound in a surprisingly enjoyable film considering it’s a one-joke premise, with Murray’s bubbly performance and the brisk direction keeping it afloat.