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Decent adrenaline rush with an interesting sci-fi twist
6/10 The previews of Gamer didn't terribly appeal to me. However, after reading some initial reviews and seeing that the people over at Joblo found it to be pretty decent, I thought I would check it out. Was it what I thought it would be? Kind of. Was it entertaining? Sure.4 years ago
Gamer is, first and foremost, mostly a brainless action film in the vein of Crank and other hyperkinetic actioneers, which is presented in fast, somewhat jittery cuts. There's plenty of ultraviolence here and a world of uber-tech that revolves around mind control and the next phase in adult entertainment. While the premise seems a bit silly, with some people subjecting themselves to more demeaning elements, it is a bit thought provoking, which is kind of nice in an action film. It does edge close to Schwarzenegger's Running Man, although this film stands on its own with a stern Gerard Butler and over-the-top Michael C Hall.
Still, you can't help but feel detached from everything. The film rushes itself, finally slowing down to a decent pace at the end, with an ending that is very fitting and entertaining. However, most of it is a mix between speedy action and lackluster dramatic scenes. Why Leguizamo is in this film, I have no clue. There is enough action and techno-gunk here, however, to make for an entertaining 90 minutes. There's also plenty of T&A, which is rare in films these days, although I found most of it to be not veyr attractive. The interesting thing is that the film does do a good job of creating a world that could potentially exist. No matter how disturbing some elements in the film may be, they seem to have an air of truth, and that elevates this film just-above-average.
Although it is certainly a film with many short comings, it's entertaining and presents an interesting world with some scary realizations. Let us hope that, in our lifetime, we don't see this sort of thing happen.
Know what you should expect
6/10 My movie philosophy: don't blame a movie for not being what it's not meant to be.4 years ago
To enjoy a movie, you don't need the movie to be amazing, great, or even good (sometimes). You just need to know what you should expect.
So what do you expect from gamer? If you want gore, violence, blood, nudity...go ahead and see it. If you want Gerald Butler running around shooting people, fighting people, baring his muscles and looking tough like action heroes do, go ahead and see it. If you want Michael C. Hall playing an evil guy trying to take over the world, and baring his muscles, and even showing off his Broadway background a little bit, go ahead and see it. (but you'd be a little disappointed since he shows up less than you'd expect as this is quite a short movie, only 1.5 hours). Even if you want to see some hot lesbian actions probably imagined by very non-lesbian people, or a cute teenage boy who probably isn't supposed to do anything other than being a cute teenage boy...go ahead and see it.
But If you want go in and find some surprise- and twist-filled plot, some complicated multi-layer character development, or some brilliant insight into society or even humanity, then no, don't go see Gamer.
The problem is, if you are really expecting the later things I mentioned, I think it's partially you fault that you are going to spend one and a half hour of your precious time sitting in a theater suffering from this movie and then hate it with a passion. Because really, those aren't what Gamer is meant to be, even though some people may actually believe that they are.
The reality is that while not what many would call a great (or even good) movie, Gamer could be thoroughly enjoyed, as long as you know what it should be. Because I think it's everything it set out to be. You just need to (maybe grudgingly) accept what it's supposed to be and either enjoy it for what it is, or realize that it's not a movie for your high level of intelligence and ignore it completely.
Three films in one -- nuanced & stimulating in every way
9/10 The premise of "Gamer" is resoundingly simple: What if gamers could control actual people? Coming into the theater, due to the simple premise and embarrassingly poor marketing of the film, I was expecting a brainless, adolescently indulgent action flick. What I got was a mind-blowing surprise.4 years ago
"Gamer" is three films in one: (1) Subculture examination of the gamer ethos; (2) Pulse-pounding action movie; (3) Thought-provoking science fiction piece.
As others have mentioned, this film truly brings the gamer experience to the big screen. The battle shots bring MMORPG first-person shooters to real life, and the Sims/Second Life-like scenes played just as true, right down to the robotic, singlemindedly determined motion of the characters. The directors obviously spent many long hours gaming in preparation for this film (or just for fun).
As an action film, "Gamer" holds its own, delivering plenty of fights, battle scenes, and adrenaline-soaked moments. Hollywood knows how to do action, and in "Gamer" you see some of what it has learned from films like "The Matrix", "Saving Private Ryan", and others. I won't say too much, but there's a particularly juicy scene involving some kind of giant snowplow.
"Gamer" shines most brightly, and most unexpectedly, as a science fiction piece. The film interweaves themes familiar to our 2009 reality, including economic desperation, prison overcrowding, the fallout of materialism, and technology naively promoted as a panacea for society's ills.
"Gamer" shows us a society addicted to technology at the expense of facing reality. Masses of gamers, locked in adolescence or enraptured by the promise of mindless self-indulgence without consequence, living solely through their avatars. Desperate segments of society, the poor and criminal, who have surrendered control of their bodies to the will of gamers. A populace that embraces televised war games as a solution to prison overcrowding, rather than addressing the true causes of mass imprisonment. The megalomaniacal pushers of technology running largely unchecked as the masses surrender control.
Michael C. Hall delivers a breakout silver screen performance as the multifaceted Ken Castle -- after his great work in Six Feet Under, this is another power move for his career. Kyra Sedgwick nails her cougar reporter character, who begins the film as another no-conscience profiteer but becomes more through the course of the film. And Gerard Butler plays the hero archetype admirably, as every bit of the man who his spoiled teenage gamer-puppeteer cannot become.
"Gamer" may end up as a cult classic, a slowly growing mainstream success, or could stay underrated indefinitely, but it's definitely worth a view.
You want action...You got action
5/10 Was looking forward to seeing what the directors of Crank would do next and they didn't disappoint. Non-stop action from the very start with awesome camera work and a unique story line. This movie takes video gaming to the extreme and makes you wonder if there are any boundaries to what man will do to amuse themselves! Michael. C. Hall is a hoot to watch and the singing and dancing scene was hilarious and genius in a movie like this. It had the feel of the Matrix/Running Man and didn't take itself too seriously which is why I loved it. Also if you play video games you will enjoy the scenes in "Society" and the characters that are portrayed. This is without doubt a modern day action blockbuster with hints of the 80' and 90's classics. If you like action and something new go and see this you wont be disappointed!!4 years ago
Seen it before. Twice.
4/10 In "The Running Man", an innocent man was framed in order that he is arrested and has to enter a deadly game show. Upon winning this game show he would win his freedom, but the powers that be attempt to ensure that this does not happen.4 years ago
In "Death Race", an innocent man was framed in order that he is arrested and has to enter a deadly car race. Upon winning this car race he would win his freedom, but the powers that be attempt to ensure that this does not happen.
In "Gamer", an innocent man yadda yadda yadda, you get the idea.the idea itself has been done to death and I knew this before entering the cinema. I hoped to see at least a form of entertainment for an hour and a half, but sadly was met with a confusing mess.
I liked the idea of introducing a new spin on the "Man has to win his freedom by..." genre, but it just seemed such a mess. they had all these ideas and just threw them in with no thought process at all. it was just disjointed all the way through.
It just wasn't done as well as the other two i mentioned - which aren't the most amazing films in their own right anyway, but fairly enjoyable.
i suppose the action set pieces were fairly well done, and i like gerard butler's claim to be Hollywood's new hard guy. he can act better than jason statham. just. his accent is just as dodgy though.