Friday, May 28, 2010

Gamer - A Review

I love action movies. There's nothing better then having your heartbeat speed up and your adrenaline start pupping through your body at the sight of crazy, mindless action, fight scenes and car chases.
When I first saw the trailer for the movie Gamer, I started to feel those same reactions.

I mean, come on, doesn't it look awesome?
Here's a synopsis:

In a near-future New York, mind-control technology has taken the world by storm. Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) has revolutionized the gaming industry with his invention of self-replicating nanites. The nanites colonize in the brain, gradually replacing the existing brain cells and allowing full control of all motor functions by a third party. The first major application of this technology allows gamers to control a real person in a pseudo community (much like current simulated worlds such as Second Life but with far more telepresence). Those who work as characters in Society are paid for their participation, unlike Castle's latest creation, Slayers, a multiplayer, third-person shooter game. Slayers allows gamers to control death row prisoners in mass-scale death matches. Any inmate who lives through 30 matches wins a full pardon. Due to Society and Slayers popularity, Ken Castle has become the richest man in the world. Simon, a 17-year old gamer (Logan Lerman) has control over Kable (Gerard Butler), the most recognizable face in Slayers due to him surviving 27 matches, far more than any other participant.
I didn't get the chance to see this in the theatre when it came out. But when I got a new HDtv and a Blue-ray player, this was the first movie I bought. I could barley contain my excitement. I mean, who wouldn't want to see someone as sexy as Gerard Butler running around shooting things? Just look at him
That is one sexy man! mmmmm....
Anyway, I digress.
Needless to say, I had very high hopes for this movie. Unfortunatly, it didn't want to live up to my expectations. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible, it just wasn't what I expected.
The concept behind the movie is really neat.
Gamers controlling real life people?

As horrifying as I find the thought of controlling people in a war zone (more on that later), I find Society even more disturbing. The game is basically like Sims, played with real life people, but fully controlled by the gamer. Needless to say, some very unsavory things seem to be happening all the time. It gave me the chills. Mostly because I could see that happening in the future, easily actually.

Seeing Angie (aka Kable's wife) being 'played' by that creepy guy was enough to give me nightmares. Not usually what I look for in an action movie.
What I do want, is action. Something that this movie doesn't really have very much of. But it's a movie based in a game, you protest. Well, I wish that were true. Don't get me wrong, they were in the game, for maybe 15 minutes of this film 95 minute film.
I do however find the moral ambiguity about using deathrow inmates to kill one another for sport to be interesting, if not a totally original concept, especially with characters who are conveniently innocent of the crimes that they have been convicted for.
I was expecting something more like Death Race where they spend the whole movie building up towards the race that will finally set them free (or will it?)

This was nothing like that. Nothing at all.
He didn't even get to his last game. He escapes before it and has useless run-ins with characters with cameos for no other reason than to write in well named actors. I'm sorry, but there was no reason for Ludacris to be in this movie other than to use him in the trailer. Sadly, I feel the same way about John Leguizamo and Michael C. Hall.

Oh Dexter. For one that plays a serial killer so well, he was very lackluster in this movie. Now I don't blame him of course, the writing of this character was just crappy. Which of course is sad, because he was the other reason (other that undressing Gerard with my eyes) that I wanted to see this movie.
The only good cameo in this entire movie was played by Milo Ventiglia of Heroes fame.

He was incredibly creepy (although still sexy) in this movie, as he was controlled along with the other Society players.
As a whole, I would recommend seeing this movie for the interesting study of human nature, but if you're like me and you just want a good action movie, trust me, stick with Death Race.
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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