A dime-a-dozen, action-suspense thriller hybrid that unravels as it reveals, "Reindeer Games" is more than just a bad title. It's a sorry string of surprises that don't surprise and a disappointing follow-up for director John Frankenheimer, who two years ago hit a genre high mark with the espionage-and-adrenaline knock-out, "Ronin."

Frankenheimer must have shot his load on that picture, because this one -- about a petty con (Ben Affleck) fresh out of pokey, whose girlfriend gets him mixed up in a doomed casino robbery -- is lacking even a hint of the savvy director's fingerprints on the finished product. Given the same script, any bozo with a couple music videos under his belt would have turned out the exact same movie.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

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