Sep 30 2009 by Ian Bunting, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
GAMER is an action movie set in a future where humans can be controlled by other people in a series of online games.
Gerard Butler stars as Kable, the best player of a game called Slayers. Kable wants to gain his freedom from the game but to do so he will have to take down its creator, Ken Castle (played by Michael C. Hall).
Movies based on video games have, generally, been very disappointing over the years. Many films have also included video game-like characters and special effects that have taken something away from the story.
Gamer is just like a computer game... an awful one. Complete with hyper visuals, little story, pointless characters and even a final showdown with the ‘evil boss,’ this film is one of the lowlights of the year.
As well as this calamity, double directors and writers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor were responsible for Crank and Crank: High Voltage. I think it’s safe to say that Scorsese and Tarantino needn’t worry about the competition.
The film strives for originality but we’ve seen it all before. The tough-guy lead male looking to escape from a deadly game is pure Death Race. A group of people put into a televised ‘kill or be killed’ scenario was done, 10 times better, in Battle Royale.
The gunfights are like a more intense version of Laser Quest and grow tiresome and repetitive really quickly. There is so much technical imagery that it becomes very confusing as to what’s going on. And the acting is pretty dire.
Butler is creating a very strong reputation for himself in Hollywood and, though not great, he’s the best thing about the film. He is given little character to work with but physically he’s right and he literally breaks people’s faces with his fists.
TV’s Dexter Hall is terrible. His hammy, overacting makes Ken one of the worst big-screen characters of this, or any other, year. He’s full of ridiculous hand gestures and, just when you think it can’t get any worse, he brings us some ludicrous dancing to Frank Sinatra in the worst scene of the year.
As Kable’s wife Angie, Amber Valletta, best known for her role in Hitch, is pointless and ‘Mrs Kevin Bacon’ Kyra Sedgwick (as journalist Gina) is embarrassing. Don’t even get me started on Heroes’ Milo Ventimiglia’s hideous cameo.
The film is full of shoot-outs, swearing, sexual imagery and language, explosions and limb destruction but the best thing about it is that it’s only an hour and 25 minutes long.
Only Fighting comes close to rivalling Gamer as the worst film of the year. Perhaps they should both have a fight to the death. Hopefully, it’ll end in a draw.
Rating - 3 out of 10.