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Finishing the Game (2007)

tomatometer

35

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 22

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.

31

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 9

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.

audience

48

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 2,716

My Rating

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

Unrated,

Comedy

Josh Diamond, Justin Lin

Jun 24, 2008

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October 4, 2007:
Critical Consensus: Heartbreak Needs Discipline, Jane Worth Perusing, Seeker Reeks
This week at the movies, we've got honeymooners (The Heartbreak Kid, starring Ben Stiller and...

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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.

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Intermittently funny at best, but mostly full of dead air.

October 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 25, 2007 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 19, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

October 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Finishing The Game doesn't get anywhere that Hollywood Shuffle didn't go to first.

October 5, 2007 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You can easily tell how great a time everyone is having, and it's infectious.

June 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

What exactly he's trying to say about Bruce Lee's fame and impact or the banal reality of genre moviemaking is unclear at best.

November 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The pace is flat, the celebrity cameos go nowhere, and the smugness of Lin's observations of Asian-Americans and Hollywood smothers the comedy.

November 9, 2007
Salt Lake Tribune

Misses more comic targets than it hits.

November 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

There's about five minutes of funny in Finishing the Game, which leaves 83 minutes of "Oh, that same joke again, huh?"

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Finishing the Game serves up a kick-ass comedy about a dead martial arts star, starving actors and the Hollywood system.

October 26, 2007
KPBS.org

[T]here's little intriguing or surprising...

October 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

... too thin to sustain itself, even at a modest 83 minutes.

October 24, 2007
Los Angeles CityBeat

The premise was so golden and in front of our noses for so long, it's amazing that is has taken this long for someone to do it. I'm still upset that it wasn't me.

October 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

It's a wasted idea.

October 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The main reason that I didn't like Justin Lin's new film Finishing the Game is because I wasn't sure at any time what he was trying to make...

October 9, 2007 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Besmirching Bruce Lee's name like this should be a punishable offense.

October 8, 2007 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

It feels as though everyone involved was having a rollicking good time, and while the film itself is wildly uneven, Lin and company get in a few pointed jabs at Hollywood fatuousness and self-delusion, cultural stereotypes and '70s fashions.

October 5, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Call it a comic documentary, a true-life comedy, or a Hollywood satire, but however you karate chop this one, it's a kicky, clever, highly amusing romp.

October 5, 2007
Reel.com

Audience Reviews for Finishing the Game

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 Game of Death. Instead the viewer is given a full on mockumentary.What is a mockumentary? Basically, it is a comedic documentary and Justin Lin provides a fairly successful one with this film.The style of this film plays out like it is done from the 70's, which is when the original Game of Death 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 American Idol.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.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.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.
May 21, 2008
skactopus
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

A spastic satire, as producers struggle to replace Bruce Lee.
November 21, 2007
wbgoose13

Super Reviewer

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!
April 25, 2009
RemiLogan

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee (DE)
  • Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee (UK)
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