This Week in Netflix: “Gamer”(2009) February 5, 2011Posted by Skippy in Movies, This Week In Netflix.
I have to ask a question: does Gerard Butler enjoy being in shitty movies? I mean, really.
Ok, so I sit down on a lazy Saturday afternoon to watch “Gamer” and about five minutes in, I realize that this is a really shittacular movie. There isn’t much to say about this movie—it is pretty thin on plot. The plot (such as it is) is thus: “sometime in the future,” some jackwagon named Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) has created a virtual reality game called “Slayers.” In this bit of enlightened gamemaking, “Slayers” is a game in which people can control other people in battles to the death. The people who’ve “volunteered” for this game are death row inmates. The most popular of the “icons” in this game is Kable (Gerard Butler). He is controlled by a seventeen year-old imbecile named Simon (Logan Leman), who has become something of a celebrity, as Kable/Logan has survived 28 rounds. If Kable makes it to 30, he will be released from prison. Of course, Castle doesn’t want Kable to make it to 30. I don’t know why.
Additionally, Kyra Sedgwick is in the movie as a reporter who is hot on the trail about…something. Whatever. All you need to know is that she helps Kable escape the Matrix and reunite with his wife and daughter. Added into this mix is a resistance group called “Humanz” led by, of all people, Ludacris.
Ludacris? That’s ludicrous. Get it? Get it? Aw, you’re no fun.
This movie was directed by the same people who gave us the instant classic, “Crank.” In other words, it’s as hyperactive as that movie and probably just as deep. At 90 minutes long, you won’t have time to try to examine the deeper implications of a society in which people can literally control other people and seemingly have no compunction against pitting people against others in brutal gladiatorial contests. No, there will be no deep thinking in this movie! You will, however, see lots of explosions, bare breasts, and one obscenely obese guy who plays the predecessor to Slayers called “Society” (this movie’s take on the Sims) and controls Kable’s wife.
Eventually, Kable escapes prison and is freed from Simon’s control. Then the movie turns into your standard C-grade action flick. I refuse to call it a science-fiction movie because it’s connection to sci-fi is tenuous at best. This movie could have been about Kable being forced to fight because Castle is blackmailing him or holding his family hostage (which, he does in a way); sure there’s a bit at the end where Castle goes through some scenery chewing about taking over the human race and what-not, but it’s pretty pointless.
All in all, this is a pretty pointless movie. Mindless violence and explosions coupled with Gerard Butler in a role that could easily have been played by a nobody. Frankly, this movie might have been better if it had focused on the kid doing the controlling. By making Simon a vapid rich kid, the story loses a golden opportunity to tell a much richer narrative. However, something tells me that those involved weren’t interested in telling a rich narrative.