Reviews

Gamer

3

Butler shoots ’em up…

After the low-budget hyper-mayhem of the Crank movies, where next for writers/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor?

Big-budget hyper-mayhem, obviously. Gamer invests in creating an off-colour future extrapolated from our increasingly online times. It’s a world where button-bashing and real life have converged to produce Slayers, a brutal computer game that sees spoilt teens controlling flesh-and-blood death row inmates whose freedom is at stake.

The film’s vividly unreal reality is a snug fit for Neveldine and Taylor’s MO: where Crank’s Chev Chelios stretches credibility by performing extraordinary feats in an ordinary environment, Gamer sets the duo free to embrace the absurd without having to worry about logic, physics or believability.

On top of a crazed new world, the extra budget has bought the filmmakers a few more recognisable names: Alison Lohman, Kyra Sedgwick, Ludacris and Dexter’s Michael C Hall, wickedly creepy as Slayers’ megalomaniacal mastermind. Look out too for a cameo by Heroes’ Milo Ventimiglia as the unsubtly named Rick Rape.

Topping the bill, Gerard Butler plays living avatar Kable, the game’s reigning champ. After flirting with romcoms (PS I Love You, The Ugly Truth), this is Butler’s raucous return to the ultra-violence of 300 – complete with copycat stylised blood-spurts and saturated colour (taking the directors’ already heightened aesthetic up yet another notch).

Zack Snyder’s fight film isn’t the only influence on show; many of Gamer’s ideas have been explored before in films like Death Race, Rollerball, Tron and The Running Man.

This isn’t the place to come for character development or subtext, either: asides centred on Kable’s family and commentary on the prison and health services are weakly sketched. Even worse, they take precious minutes away from what Neveldine and Taylor do best: pummel you into submission.

Verdict:

It won’t win points for originality or depth, but the Crank boys are still on their game as far as sex, violence and sheer unapologetic excess go. High concept, high octane, highly likely to end up a post-pub staple.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • dthekidd2005

      Sep 28th 2009, 1:50

      1

      Lets start with the obvious. RIP OFF. Running man anyone? Death race 2000? It astonishes me that people get paid vast sums of money to come up with this rubbish. I went to see this film not expectecting much so i was surprised when I found it so dreadful. I was actually bored. The action suffers from "drunken camera man" It aims to make you feel like its a documentary but the camera moves just as anything intersting is happening on screen. The acting is laughable but the direction is the main culprit. Whose idea was it to make the main rival look constipated every time he walks on screen?? Worst. idea. ever. Its kinda hard to take it seriously. The main problem is you really just dont care who lives and who doesnt. Any one of the main cast could die and the responce would be: meh... The ONLY good point is that Michael c. Hall played his character well but a terrible script and poor direction left you wondering why he bothered? READ THE SCRIPT BEFORE LOOKING AT THE CHEQUE! If i paid full price for this film I think I would have cried. Im not asking for an intelligent film. Just one that isnt so bad its dull.

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    • captainchod

      Jan 12th 2010, 13:18

      3

      2 and a half stars really. The action scenes in the game in the first half are fun, but the film limps along apart from this

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:52

      5

      great action film

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:52

      5

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:52

      5

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    • district9

      Aug 25th 2010, 16:53

      5

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      Dec 13th 2010, 20:30

      i think Gamer is brilliant in which thousands of fans in usa think so by making it no1 film and huge in the uk which is something alot of horror films cant do. the killings are clever with an auto scanner excellent ending.

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