Nicolas Van Orton is not a nice man. But he’s not supposed to be. He is a product of his surroundings. One of the greatest creations to ever be churned out of the corporate machine. Nicolas manages investments and when the stock drops, he is a pit bull at quickly restoring confidence. He's one of the guys that you want to know is looking out for your stock, you just don't want to be friends with him. Nicolas' name could just as well be Ebeneezer Scrooge.
While Nicolas is not literally visited by ghosts, he is certainly a haunted man. The Game knows his hot buttons and pushes them often. Within hours of signing up, Nicolas is forced into one uncomfortable situation after the next. And then of course, there is the death of Nicolas' father hovering over him the entire time. His father died at a young age (the exact age that Nicolas has turned in the movie) from suicide and whether Nicolas wants to admit it or not, he's on a bullet-train down the same path. All of these things work against Nicolas, breaking him down to the man that it appears he once was. There is a hint of a nicer life in a photo of Nicolas actually smiling while he holds up a fish he has just caught. Unlike a visit from The Ghost Of Christmas Past, there are not stacks of hard proof that Nicolas is worth saving yet somehow we want him to be saved for no other reason than he is Michael Douglas. One wonders if he were just another unknown actor if we would feel the same way.
To me the greatest question raised by The Game is not how did they pull everything off. It’s whether or not a series of traumatic events can truly change a man. Can Ebenezer really be changed? It’s a good question. The Game believes so as does A Christmas Carol. Of course it helps when we know that the man in question was good to begin with. So in the next few days before Christmas arrives, give The Game a try through new eyes. View it not as a good Hitchcockian thriller, but as an interesting twist on an old holiday favorite.