Ice T plays Mason; a belligerent ignorant waste of a human life. In reality, he is a rapper turned actor. One of the first if I do say so myself. In this time, these rappers had a broad range of acting jobs, not just a crime/gangster film to which they are limited to in this modern age. The downfall of quality for sure. The plot of this film has been disguised, along with Hard Target's, to show sympathy towards homeless people. The truth is far from. This is a film that undoubtedly ends up degrading black people and their "street smart cred".
Ice T spends his time being an ignorant bastard who likes to pretend he has something smart to say. He isn't very good at the English language, not even with one-liners. He finds a hot ticket to get dough and takes it. This winds him up with a German tycoon (Rutger Hauer) with his black assistant, a Jew and his son, a sociopathic psychiatrist (Gary Busey) and an emotional random. They fine dine while commenting on the scruffy look and attitude of the ignorant guest. What Ice T doesn't know is that he is actually on the menu. Cue the "Get the fuck out of here. 10 minute head start" scene and that's where the film actually ends. The rest is just filler.
Throughout the course of this film, these self proclaimed hunters are constantly making folly's and undermining the Negro star. Eventually he uses cigarettes, his Timberlands, and the other tools of his Urban survival guide to make his way to freedom. In this film you will witness Ice T saying "Fuck" every 2 minutes. The promise of action is what really lures us in and this film has none. The high point of the film is Gary Busey and he is dispatched quick. Rutger Hauer never was given the chance to make this into a real cinematic treat and we go home unfulfilled.
By the end of the film, Ice T is muddy and grimy, soiled with natures excrement similar to the scene in Predator. Only this time, it forms a natural Blackface with Ice T's bloody lips. Such elements like these just give this film a sour flavor. It's times like these that makes me appreciate absurdities in cinema. I just wish that I could respect this film more. Ernest Dickerson is a no-talent hack that only really excels in directing story lines that were already preconceived, ala Television drama's. Surviving the Game is a game you won't want to survive after Busey is written out of the script.