Gamer (Neveldine/Taylor) 2009

The plot of Gamer is the same as Running Man, or Death Race or…ok, I’ll elaborate more.  In the future we have invented a nanobot that has the ability to control a person like a video game.  At first it was used in a Sims like game and later evolved to a Counterstrike game called Slayers.  For the Sims game they hire people that are poor so they can be controlled for a few hours.  For the Slayers game, they use death row criminals and if they survive 30 missions they are freed.  Gerard Butler is a guy wrongly accused on Death Row and close to earning his freedom.

Its easy to dismiss the movie based on the trailer so full of fail it is almost epic.  “Gerard Butler hasn’t kicked so much ass since 300 years ago!”  Ok 300 didn’t refer to 300 years ago or even the year 300.  Unless you are referring to a Gerard Butler performance that was set 300 years ago.  The only thing I can think of that’s even close is Phantom of the Opera.  But I digress.

The reason I really took this seriously and didn’t just dismiss it as shit were the directors.  It is directed by the same people as both Crank movies.  Gamer has a lot of the same satirical quirks that the Crank movies have.  The action is also very good.  The problem is when they actually try to play it straight.  We have the fun moments and the outrageous moments and then we get dragged down by Butler moping about his wife and kids.  I went into this movie knowing the plot was recycled a million times over.  I just wish we would dispense with the formalities to get to the action.  Instead we go through the motions and tread over the same plot twists done so many times that it becomes boring.  I’m sorry, there is nothing new to this story anymore so dispense with all that and embrace what you really are.  You are an exploitation film with a semi clever satirical bent.  But even that is a little sabotaged when the characters pull out the ole soapbox and outright preach what we are seeing is wrong.  That is the real lesson to be learned here.  Satire can be brilliant at delivering a message while at the same time being very entertaining.  When you deliver A MESSAGE you finger wag your audience and we just have to sit there and check our watches and wait for you to sit down so we can enjoy Michael C. Hall chewing the scenery.

Oh yeah, Hall chews the whole studio and its great.  The acting over all is good and you have a few character actors also going over the top and making the experience fun.

Overall, Gamer is an alright film.  If you can catch it cheap or later on rental by all means.  Go right ahead.  This is Neveldine and Taylor’s weakest effort so far simply because they are not as balls to the wall crazy and satirical as they should have been with this material.

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