Sunday, September 06, 2009


Violent and disturbing only mildly describes the movie I just walked out of. On one hand it was a cookie cutter action movie, predictable till the end. Then there were parts of this film, we'll call social commentary, that truly disturbed me. Let me just say before I continue further that Gerard Butler is a bonefide action hero. Mark him up with Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger, this guy is the real deal. A moment ago I was looking at the box office report and it looks like Final Destination is still hanging on to the top spot, with Gamer 3rd with 9 million. I'm actually surprised by this. I guess we'll have to see what Gamer does on Monday, but I was sure that this one was going to rake in at least 30 million opening weekend. It just goes to show that you can't predict them all. Now I'm not implying that this film is great by any means, it's a loud and at times over the top action film. If you liked the Crank movies then you should love this one. Still the visceral nature of Gamer has really stuck with me for some reason. It feels a lot like the first Robo Cop. There were silly elements sure, there was extreme violence but there was also a social message. A seedy disgusting element that truly makes you want to look away. I felt that in a big way through portions of this movie.Gamer follows the best real/Avatar soldier ever, Kable (Gerard Butler.). Kable is a death row inmate who is given a chance at freedom as long as he survives a real war zone. The catch is that his movements are controlled by another human. A seventeen year old brat to be exact, named Simon (Logan Lerman). It's kind of like if you were playing the on-line video game Call of Duty and instead of controlling a computer simulated person, you are actually in charge of a living breathing and possibly bleeding human being. Kable is just a few missions away from obtaining his freedom. But the creator of the game called Slayers, Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall), is more interested in Kable meeting his death in a blaze of glory as well as controlling the world. Kable receives some help from an underground group called the Humanz led by Brother (Ludacris) and Trace (Alison Lohman). Every futuristic film where society is controlled has to have an competent underground organization to mix things up. It's just the rules. Remember Edgar Friendly? As I said before the movie is fairly cut and dried. Kable is a bad ass good guy, possibly framed, and on death row. He's got a wife and a daughter he's trying to get to-- yada yada. These elements were fun and exciting but as I said before extremely predictable. If you've seen Running Man or Logan's Run then you'll get where this is going quickly. Now here is where it gets interesting, when they start to explore Castle's other creation, called Society. Society, like Slayers, has Avatars as humans that are being controlled by people at home. The difference here is that it's not a war zone it's more like the Sims. But when you see a few of the people controlling these avatars, especially the one controlling Kable's wife Angie (Amber Valletta). You totally feel nausuous at this fat lazy blob sitting in a chair acting out his sick fantasies through this woman. You hope and pray that our society never even enters into this realm of the absurd and the humiliating. We are so desensitized to violence that I suppose, if we are not careful, we could become this uncaring sack of shit sitting in a living room playing puppet master with someone's life. Let's hope not.Overall the flick was fun and extremely violent. The dialogue was cheesy pretty much all the way through. One of the heavies in the flick played by Terry Crews is just so ridiculous it's hard to take him seriously. The guy is big and he could be scary for sure but his character is so silly that he doesn't feel like an obstacle at all. I was just waiting for Gerard to double-tap this guy in the skull. The same goes for the number 1 baddie. (You see how de-sensitized I have become, geez.) Michael C. Hall is a great actor. If you've seen Six Feet Under or Dexter then you know this guy is a top-notch thespian. His first mistake was the corn-pone accent, I couldn't take him seriously after that. The movie works for what it is, Gerard Butler is, as always, a joy to watch. If you haven't seen the Basterds then this should be your next stop on the Action Movie gravy train. I would skip All About Steve and Final Destination. They both look terrible regardless of the box office numbers. Gamer is a true action flick and it does exactly what it's supposed to do.

Grade 3 Buckets

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