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.
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.
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.
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!