Gamer Synopsis: In a world where humans play humans in live action video games, things can turn deadly.
Release Date: September 4, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action
As I walked out of Gamer, I immediately knew what I should write for the production portion of the review: avoid, avoid at all costs, save yourself. To merely write that seemed more than enough time and energy to give to a movie such as this. I say this because the film makes absolutely no sense for the most part. The attempts at explanation are so far out there and confusing you never fully grasp how things are happening.
The virtual world and the real world tend to overlap which contradicts what you have been told before and then it is never explained how that happened or if it really did. Maybe they were still in the virtual world? I have no idea. From the lack of response from everyone else in the theatre, I do not think they had a clue what was going on either. One part of Gamer that was entertaining, and wholly unexpected, occurs at the end with Michael C. Hall (Ken Castle) busting into a dance sequence as Gerard Butler (Kable) seethes with anger. That part was fun to watch, unlike the rest of Gamer, even if it made no sense whatsoever (well, on that point it makes complete sense to have it in this movie). Save your time, money, energy, and any shred of respect for the movie-going experience you have and avoid this film.
Fast-paced editing techniques are great and they can add a level of excitement and suspense to an action film. The editing in Gamer plays along the lines of the video game aesthetic, but with a far more phrenetic pacing. To be honest, it makes you dizzy. The ability to grasp what is happening is lost because the cuts are done way to quickly. Just a few more seconds each, or here and there even, during the action sequences would have made it so much more enjoyable. As well as easier to follow what is going on. Instead, its all about moving way too quickly and blurring the lines between the cuts to the point where you do not even know sometimes when, or how many times, a scene has been edited since your mind is still five slices behind.
The futuristic world in Gamer is full of dark, decaying buildings, and high-tech computers. The virtual world is the one full of color and light. The production design for this virtual world, called Society, is impressive. It feels like an avante garde 1980s reborn and re-released onto the future after multiplying the excess by a million. Every fetish, fantasy, desire, and deviant natured individual is in this world. The eye cannot fully process everything it has for the magnitude of all in it is too much to grasp in one viewing. The imagination is taken on a whirlwind and one immediately knows why people are obsessed with playing in this world and not their own.
Gamer is based around action, in the form of a game called ‘Slayers’. You do get plenty of guns blazing, explosions, and high-energy combat. Yet it never gets your heart racing or blood pumping. There is no desire to cheer on the good guy as he fights his way through the battle. You just watch and absorb the violence-obsessed nature of the game without much of a reaction.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Neveldine
- Screenwriter: Neveldine
- Cast: Gerard Butler (Kable), John Leguizamo (Freak), Alison Lohman (Trace), Michael C. Hall (Ken Castle), Milo Ventimiglia (Rick Rape), Kyra Sedgwick (Gina Parker Smith)
- Editor(s): Peter Amundson
- Cinematographer: Fernando Villena
- Production Designer(s): Jerry Fleming
- Country Of Origin: USA