Oct 182021

Survive the Game is another severely lackluster direct-to-video movie co-starring Bruce Willis who looks as uncommitted as ever. There’s really nothing redeeming for this and should absolutely be skipped.



Survive the Game

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Action, Crime
Lionsgate| R – 98 min. – $21.99 | October 12, 2021

Date Published: 10/18/2021 | Author: The Movieman

Director: James Cullen Bressack
Writer(s): Ross Peacock (written by)
Cast: Chad Michael Murray, Bruce Willis, Swen Temmel, Michael Sirow, Kate Katzman

Features: Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese
Disc Size: 23.85 GB
Total Bitrate: 31.66 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 1½/5

Plot Synopsis: When cop David (BRUCE WILLIS) is injured in a drug bust gone wrong, his partner, Cal (SWEN TEMMEL), pursues the two criminals (ZACK WARD, KATE KATZMAN) who shot him to a remote farm owned by troubled vet Eric (CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY). As Cal and Eric plot their defense, more of the gang arrives — along with a wounded David — and, outnumbered, the three heroes must use stealth, smarts, and marksmanship to take down the drug-dealing mob.

Quick Hit Review: Survive the Game, which despite having the same two actors is not a sequel to Survive the Night, is another direct-to-video of blandness that doesn’t have a whole lot going for it. It’s another film co-starring Bruce Willis showing once more he doesn’t give a damn and gives the bare minimum to any semblance of a performance. Not that I can completely blame him, however as there really isn’t any resemblance of a character.

The film also stars Chad Michael Murray who, because I became bored while I was watching, reminded me of a discount Chris O’Donnell. Not sure if that’s a dig at Murray or O’Donnell, but there really is not a whole lot going for the character. The film also features a who’s not-who of supporting actors with very little charisma and baddies who are as generic as they come; just a bunch of bodies for our heroes to kill off.

The biggest issue with these DTV movies, mostly from Grindstone Entertainment in my experience, is they are so bland and basic, and all around terrible in general, that there’s not much to enjoy, even if it’s on a so bad it’s good level. Here, as with the others, the editing is awkward since they have to cut around showing Willis’s stunt double in the one fight scene; the soundtrack/score just brutal and often with out-of-place songs; there’s zero suspense and even the locale, in this case filmed Puerto Rico, wasn’t taken advantage of.

Survive the Game was directed by James Cullen Bresseck, who helmed other top-notch action-thrillers like Beyond the Law starring Steven Seagal, another action star who has been in DTV hell for a better part of two decades, and someone who put in the minimal amount of work possible to the point that, and the film’s title escapes me, they used a stunt double to walk up a flight of stairs. Willis thankfully isn’t to that level – yet – as this film they manage to have him get out of a car and walk to a building. Low bar, sure, but it’s all I got to “praise”…



This release comes with a glossy, title-embossed, slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. The only feature is the film’s Trailer (2:19).


VIDEO – 4/5

Lionsgate releases Survive the Game onto Blu-ray, presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. As with the bulk of the recent direct-to-video movies, this one looks fine and at least appears the filmmakers used professional equipment. In any case, detail on this was okay and colors moderately bright with well balanced black levels, although most of the film does take place during the daytime with few darkly lit scenes, one towards the end where it, however, was difficult to focus on the fight sequence.

AUDIO – 3¾/5

The disc comes with a standard DTS-HD MA 5.1 track. Dialogue comes across with decent clarity and some okay depth for the various action scenes. It’s not exactly an all-encompassing lossless track but adequate for a movie like this.


OVERALL – 1¾/5

Survive the Game is another severely lackluster direct-to-video movie co-starring Bruce Willis who looks as uncommitted as ever. There’s really nothing redeeming for this and should absolutely be skipped.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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