Gamer Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.1
Video 9.5
Audio 9.0
Special Features 7.0
Total 8.0

Distributor: Roadshow
Running Time: TBA
Reviewer: Tim Rice
Classification
: MA15+

8.0


Gamer

Cashing in on a generation or two of "gamers" who enjoy first person shooters, that is, games that are played from the characters perspective or "point of view", I had to suspend my disbelief to watch this film. Unfortunately, being a "gamer" myself, this movie attempts to appease those that know and those that don't. Funny enough, it actually works from it's almost 80's action plot to the impressive special effects and of course, the acting, especially by Michael C. Hall. 

The story of Gamer is set in the not so distant future where convicted criminals fight it out among their fellow imamates for freedom in the video game called Slayers, however there is a big catch to freedom. Firstly, prisoners need to win thirty matches in a row and second, these criminals are controlled by controllers who are everyday people like you and me.

However one prisoner named Kable (Gerard Butler) has successfully managed to survive 27 matches in a row, thanks to his controller Simon (Logan Lerman). Like the movie Death Race, freedom is generally an elusive ideology and the creator of Slayers, Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) attempts to thwart Kable's freedom but with his wife and child as his ultimate goal, Kable will stop at nothing. Of course it's clichéd and over the top but that's another gem of this film.

The story or philosophy behind Gamer has some interesting ideas such as the ability of controlling another person as you would a video game character and is almost like a social commentary on the world of gaming itself. This comes into light with the parallel to Slayers which is another popular game called Society that is reminiscent of Electronic Arts "The Sims". However, unlike the violent world of Slayers, Society is a peaceful world where you need to make friends, work and socialise with others Of course, this world is controlled by perverts and those fringe dwellers of society. This is also where Kable's wife Angie (Amber Valletta) is being "held" and unfortunately for her, she is being controlled by a disgustingly obese man.

Like movies such as The Running Man and Death Race, these games are extremely popular by the community but once again they are being controlled by those who want to control society and of course, cash in. Once Simon discovers that there is a nefarious plot behind these games, he needs to work in conjunction with Kable to liberate those enslaved and thankfully he has some assistance through the terrorist faction called "humanz" that attempt to disrupt billionaire Ken Castle's game shows.

Although quite unbelievable at times, I found Gamer to be enjoyable, provided you can suspend your disbelief as originally mentioned. Of course it's a staged action movie that features a healthy dose of humour, especially by the game "Society"  and there's some great acting by all involved, even the stoic Amber Valletta.

The special effects are great and on Blu-ray, thanks to the 1080p video quality which has some exceptional clarity. Colours have been used well in the movie from the stark and depressing world of Slayers to the bright and colourful world of Society which at times is reminiscent of The Matrix.

The audio compliments the video well which sounds exceptional through surround sound and certain scenes will literally blast you out of your chair and at times. Of course this is what the creators wanted to create, an almost video-game like experience.

For extras, Gamer has a wealth of them from commentaries, behind the scenes, documentaries and fun "Easter eggs". Definitely for those who enjoyed the film itself and they are actually quite fun to watch.

In conclusion, Gamer is not so much about the story but rather the action and social commentary about the world of gaming. The story was over the top, unbelievable but strangely enough, the action, filming and certain parts of the movie won me over and if you're a fan of Blu-ray, this is as good as they get in terms of video quality. Of course Gamer is a fun ride itself!






 
 



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