Film Review: Gamer

It’s a hard at the moment for me to dish out reviews quick simply due to my finances about to run out(no job since June 2008) and not knowing what’s going to happen so apologies for taking forever to post this.

I was like many people who thought this movie was out on September 4th but when I scoured the internet and newspapers there was no sign of the film, here we go again another movie promoted big style but won’t is released! 2 weeks later it was released.

GAMER is a movie set in the future where convicts are giving the chance for freedom through a live action violent computer style game, where the convicts are mentally controlled by a player. This is a fight to the death that would even make a hard man cry but not Kable played by Gerard Butler who is the champion of the game and only a few matches away from “freedom”. He is controlled by Simon (Logan Lerman who is also playing the role of Percy Jackson out Feb 2010) A 17 year old kid who has also became a superstar but in a mysterious way. When you have a world controlled by games and a person who can own the world and buy U.K with the spare change in his pocket who better to play a power hungry psycho maniac, Dexter himself Michael C Hall.

I’ve never seen Crank so commenting if Neveldine and Taylor have used the same used basis in Gamer well reading other press I would say yes especially the part of Butler’s character been an unjustly convicted prisoner, though we don’t actually see much of why he was convicted so a little more in the background of why he got to the point of been the greatest contestant. We only get glimpses of what happened and 3/4 way through we do see what he did he was been controlled, yes to some that’s enough I just wanted a part more was this jail? why was he in jail if it was? if not where was it? this was one of my only glitches of this movie.

This movie is like a few movies made into one: the action flick and boy Neveldine and Taylor do deliver with plenty of adrenaline-packed scenes, plenty of blood guts, flying body parts and heart-stomping moments like you are actually are playing an actual video game. So for capturing a feel of “first person” shooter video game they have certainly done this and at times you do get a small sense of why so many people especially kids find games addictive because at times you do get into the action yourself.

The thing for this movie which struck a cord was the movie is also like an examination of gaming and internet culture and especially the sims/avatar/second life online games. Many of the games you find on the internet have caused a lot noise in the press in the past year or two due to the users creating a virtual self but creating a perfect version of themselves, but very dark and sinister. These peoples are playing versions they can never really be in the real world and you see this through Amber Valletta’s character Angie (Kable’s Wife) as she struggles to survive she gives herself over to the game and controlled by an obese man who users her for his own sexual needs. It shows the internets dark side like sick paedophiles who scavenge teen chat rooms for young victims to abuse, disguise as someone else to control another.

Yes this may be seen as a science fiction movie but it has a lot today’s own problems with economic hardship, over hyped consumerism, corruption (banks), prison overcrowding. If we look at its technology and gadgets are like a drug, very addictive and to many we can’t live without them and what would people do if they never had the mobiles, PlayStation, Mp3 players? I wonder in the years to come will government’s see television as a way to address prison overcrowding? The way the game is actually advertised & televised is pure subliminal brainwashing a lot like today’s advertising. I can see where people connect this movie with running man though I would say the idea would have come more from Death Race as that also followed the idea of convicted criminals battling out for a supposed freedom on TV.

Gerard Butler isn’t brilliant in this though he did what he was asked to be; the tough guy action hero who runs around shooting people, flexing his muscles but also letting us know he’s a family man focused on winning the game and get his family back together, a very content performance. Logan Lerman is the same, just be a typical older spoilt teen who loves his gadgets, his game and internet and does what he wants. Michael C Hall, however, I did really like as the power hungry evil genius who has everything and no one stands in his way and when he suddenly breaks into a song and dance scene with Frank Sintra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” was funny and unexpected like watching a movie and suddenly out of nowhere Monty Pythons Spanish Inquisition suddenly appear.

Despite the lack in depth background story (why Kable is where his is), the MTV style camera action The Gamer delivers a decent action movie with a little social-culture message. The movie is a straight forward action movie not perfect but not bad and if go to watch this movie and expect something different and much more you will be disappointed. It entertains you just but nothing more, so just sit back and let your brain go and just hope big Gerard won’t blow it to smithereens!!!

★★★ |Paul Devine

Action, Sci-fi, | USA, 2009 | 15 |16th September 2009 (UK) | EFD | Dir:Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor | Gerard Butler, Kyra Sedgewick, Michael C Hall, Logan Lerman,

Originally posted at The Peoples Movies | 13th October 2009

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