Hunters Become The Hunted In Outrageous Action Thriller, Stream Without Netflix

By Robert Scucci | Published

Can you think of anything more terrifying than being hunted down by Gary Busey in the woods because one of his earliest childhood memories involves murdering his dog, which resulted in him developing a taste for murder? That’s the question that Surviving the Game tries to answer. Fortunately for Ice-T, who portrays the film’s protagonist, Jack Mason, even Gary Busey’s lust for the hunt is no match for his quick wit, survival instincts, and willingness to turn his hunters into prey.

Another The Most Dangerous Game Movie

At first, glance, Surviving the Game is just one of many loose adaptations of Richard Connel’s The Most Dangerous Game, the short story that the Zodiac killer claimed to be his primary source of inspiration when he went on his real-life killing spree that terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s.

As much as this movie wears its influence on its sleeve, its charismatic cast, breakneck pacing, and Stewart Copeland-composed film score make it an exciting romp through the woods that’s reminiscent of the over-the-top action movies of the ’80s.

The Film Works Because Of The Performances

Surviving the Game centers on Ice-T’s Jack Mason, a homeless drifter with nothing left to lose when he is offered a job working for a wealthy businessman named Thomas Burns (Rutger Hauer). Mason, who was already on the verge of suicide, is talked into arranging a meeting with Burns after his business partner, Walter Cole (Charles S. Dutton), convinces him to consider taking the job, which will pay him enough money to get him off of the streets and turn his life around.

What Mason doesn’t know, however, is that he’s not being hired to be a “hunting guide” but rather to be prey for a bunch of wealthy psychopaths who get together once a year and hunt humans for

The Story Is Nothing New

In addition to Burns and Cole, Mason is introduced to “Doc” Hawkins (Gary Busey), Derek Wolfe Senior (F. Murray Abraham), his son, Derek Wolfe Junior (William McNamara), and John Griffin (John C. McGinley).

All of the hunters in Surviving the Game come from affluent backgrounds, and Mason is not told the real reason for his employment until the day of the hunt. After a night of feasting, drinking, and jubilation, Mason wakes up to find out that he will be given a brief head start before the men begin to hunt him down like an animal for the fun of it.

Villains You Want To Hate

If there’s one thing that you need to know about Ice-T’s Mason in Surviving the Game, it’s that he’s not willing to go down without a fight.

While the hunters have deep pockets and seemingly infinite resources (Guns, all-terrain vehicles, and tracking devices) at their disposal, they underestimate how resourceful their target truly is. Gravely mistaken in their assumption that a homeless man doesn’t have excellent survival skills, they assume they’ll romp through the woods for a day, murder Mason, celebrate their successful hunt, and move on with their lives.

The Most Dangerous Type Of Man

Even though the hunters know the lay of the land, Mason quickly recognizes each man’s weakness and comes up with a plan to give them more than they bargained for. Armed with nothing but a pack of cigarettes, the clothes on his back, and a healthy amount of fight-or-flight-induced rage, Mason wastes no time splitting up the group so he can take them out one by one.

A Different Type Of Ice-T Performance

Surviving the Game is a perfect action thriller to watch on a lazy summer day because the men hunting Mason are the worst kind of people and represent how greed will always lead to darkness. Meanwhile, the man who has nothing to live for has a newfound appreciation for life after having his will tested by being treated like wild game.

What’s more, if you’re familiar with the kind of energy Ice-T brings to the table in Law & Order: SVU, you’ll appreciate the kind of aggressive wit that only he can deliver while navigating through an impossible situation he’s not supposed to survive.

Streaming For Free


Avid fans of the “hunters become the hunted” type of plot will tell you that Surviving the Game is nothing special, and they’re probably right. But the story told in Surviving the Game is an excellent example of how a strong cast with a competent lead is all you need if you’re simply looking for intense action and snappy one-liners. If you’re ready to experience the thrill of the hunt, you can stream Surviving the Game for free on Tubi at the time of this writing.