Monday, August 10, 2020

Series Review: Most Dangerous Game

One of the TV shows that I enjoyed watching on the app Quibi was Most Dangerous Game starring Liam Hemsworth as Dodge, a young man who had a failed business venture and was dying from cancer looking for a way to make ends meet. He gets an offer to be part of a secret game where he becomes hunted for 24 hours. For every hour that he stays alive, he gets a certain amount of money. If he stays alive until the end, he wins even more. Feeling like he had no other choice, he decides to accept the offer and play the game.

Based on a short story called The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, this has been adapted into a movie (1932) and an episode of a radio series (1943) before this short-form series by Quibi.

The Quibi series has 15 episodes that are about 10 minutes each. I think the short form works for shows like this that are supposed to be fast-paced. There is no room for dragging scenes and that makes the show more fascinating to watch.  I loved the fact that there was a lot of action involved from Dodge running away from the hunters, who all have code names based on US Presidents. The fact that they must do the hunt without alerting anyone else about what was going on was also an interesting part of the show. 

I loved that many times during the series Dodge could not tell who was involved with the hunt or not. The organizer of the hunt, Miles (played so well by Christopher Waltz, who was nominated for an Emmy for this role), planted such seeds of doubt that Dodge did not know where to turn as the hours ticked by. I also particularly enjoyed the fact that one of the hunters was a woman, and that she really gave Dodge a challenge when she was running after him.  

My favorite of all the hunters, however, was Nixon, played by Chris Webster. He was so cool and collected but also a very violent and vicious hunter. Plus, he was “professional.” When the time was up, even when he had the chance to kill Dodge, he did not. He just walked away, which was still very creepy if you ask me. If they do have a second season, I hope that he will be back for more. 

As much as it was about action, the series was also a big mind game considering how the organizer of the hunt was running it. You never quite knew what to expect and what was going to happen. The part about the cancer being something they concocted to give Dodge motivation to join the hunt was a nice touch to an already crazy story.

I have read that season 2 would have a new runner to replace Liam Hemsworth. I do not mind. Dodge’s story is done anyway. It would be nice if they featured a female runner, or if they had more female hunters next time around (but please bring back Chris Webster/Nixon). There are also talks of a full-length movie version but given that the series has already done a good job of sharing this story, I do not know how much more a movie can give the audience. 

The Quibi series is nominated for an Emmy (for Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series), which is well-deserved. Even if there were moments where you could tell they did not quite have that much of a budget for this one (that rooftop ending, for one thing), it still did a good job of entertaining viewers like me. I hope they win that one!


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