Hannah Scribbles

Gamers would love it; everyone else, stay away.

In Movies/TV, Pop Culture! on January 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Gamer, a 2009 film starring Gerald Butler, had lofty goals but failed to reach them in this sci-fi gaming thriller.

Set in a future where oddball genius Ken Castle, played by the cheesy Michael C. Hall, has created a nanotechnology that allows gamers to take control of real people in staged areas set up for pleasure (Society) or violence (Slayers).  Real life death row inmate John “Kable” Tillman (Butler) is a “character” in Slayers, the ultraviolent game that teases him with freedom after winning 30 levels – an impossibility.  Tillman has been falsely imprisoned, of course, and his wife and daughter taken away from him… that is, until underground organization Humanz unexpectedly leads him to his freedom, his wife and then the man who put him behind bars.

Gamer attempts to make a social critique of such glorified sex and violence – the problem is that the fast-paced, stylized camera shots that linger on explosions, gore and bare breasts don’t really send the message.  In fact, the Gladiator theme of the movie backfires as soon as the film begins condemning the very material used to sell it in previews.

The only truly enjoyable things about this movie were the vivid scenery and creative costumes.  The special effects are amazing and bring you right into the action.  Sometimes blood even hits the camera!  These extended scenes were meant to attract lovers of the 3rd person shooter genre, and they do.  Gloriously.

Gamer could be a great movie… without the preaching and stiff acting.  Give me more emoting and less multiple-camera-shot violence and this might not have been game over for Gamer.


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