Running Time:1 hr. 45 min.
Release Date: September 4th, 2009 (wide)
Rating: R for frenetic sequences of strong brutal violence throughout, sexual content, nudity and language.
Distributors: Lionsgate, Lakeshore International
Directed by: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
JJ Rating: B
Kable (Gerard Butler) is part of a real life video game. He is a prisoner in a special program. He is being controlled by Simon (Logan Lerman) who happens to just be a teenager that likes to play games and be popular on the internet. It is a reality-game created by the billion dollar genius Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall). The plan was to kill off Kable, but that ends up not working out so well. Gamer.
Simon has a computer that the screen is the “wall” of an entire room and it so freakin’ awesome. I love seeing technology like that in films. It makes the movie that much more fun. Seeing him interact with other people via that was just neat. Also seeing how Simon controlled Kable was great. The movie is really solid with the technology and how entertainment could be used to enslave. That aspect is debatable now with how people are affected by violence in video games and film. It’s even debatable if a photo of a dead soldier in a war would make people think differently on war itself.
In Gamer the idea is that those in prison can either be controlled by a gamer via technology that inside one’s brain for several sessions and be set free, or they can be an innocent person in the violent game that meanders about but if they survive one session they get to be free. It’s interesting because it’s so scary that that could be a possibility in the near future. Then there is another game within the movie called Society that is similar to Sims except that the “Sims” are real people being controlled by gamers. You could either be the controller or the controlee aka actor. Again that’s a bit freaky to think about because it hits so close to home. The fact that reality shows are so popular in a guilty pleasure type way makes this less silly and chillingly accurate as to how far games and people playing them would go to be entertained.
Gamer’s execution of the storyline was decent. There was nothing really wowing about the film outside the subject matter. The actors all did a well enough job to have me feel as if they were all really a part of this world. Speaking of actors there is a lot of familiar faces in this film. Every time someone comes on I was like, whoa…that’s *points* and that’s *points*. It was very silly how many I recognized but did not know their names.
Gamer had a lot of action in it. There was not a lot of connecting going on between characters or with the audience. There was an odd distance that felt like it was one on purpose. Caring for any of the characters felt like it was contrived more than actually wanting to care. Kable’s family falls into trouble, but there was not a whole lot of fear of what will happen to them because there was just no connection to play with. The entire movie was rather cold in its telling as well as how it felt to watch it.
Gamer is a movie that’s good for the social and philosophical questions it brings up, but other than that it’s just another great cast giving the world another B movie to deal with. In essence it’s nothing that needs to be seen in the theaters.