It’s hard to have any active dislike for a movie like Gamer, because it really doesn’t try very hard to be much more than an excuse to get some really cool blood spatter effects on screen and occasionally feature topless women. Naturally, for the target market, which is spelled out in gigantic letters everywhere you lookâ€“Gamerâ€“this is pretty much all a movie needs.
And to that end, Gamer is a massive success. Is it worthwhile? Let’s take a look.
Gamer posits that, in the not too distant future, the U.S. prison system will be so massive and so budget intensive that it threatens to bankrupt us. Which isn’t technically too far from the truthâ€“but anyway. Along comes a software genius with a plan: take those Death Row convictsâ€“who were just gonna die ANYWAY!â€“and make them fight for our amusement in gladiatorial matches. The difference here being that they don’t get to fight on their own behalf but rather be controlled by outside gamers, including a seventeen year old clear Fata1ity analogue who is apparently so popular that, once again, topless women are prepared to send him fifty million euros in exchange for control of his character who just happens to be Gerard Butler. Gerard, meanwhile, doesn’t like this and is out to escape his role as target / programmed assassin.
Gamer gives Mr. This-Is-Sparta himself, Gerard Butler, a chance to get back to the kind of roles that made him a big name, basically, roles that require him to do little more than grunt and kill things. Seriously, give King Leonidas Halo Spartan armor and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what he’s doing here.
Like I said, Gamer is basically just a gigantic ninety minute excuse for explosions and exposed nipples, two things every gamer really wants but seems to have a tough time finding. Oh, sure, there’s a MESSAGE here, delivered with all the subtlety of a Wayans movieâ€“they practically ANNOUNCE â€œMessage!â€ whenever they’re about to deliver this overhand chop to the beanbagâ€“but whether or not anyone’s really paying attention while being badly overstimulated by bursting bloodpacks and bouncing boobies is anyone’s guess.
As long as you consider Gamer in the light it was produced in, a simplistic summer movie, a popcorn thriller with lots of action and violence, then you’ll do all right. If you’re looking for something more substantive than I suggest you look elsewhere, because nothing’s going to happen here that you won’t see coming a mile off and several parts of it you won’t even WANT to see.
Like, for instance, a graphic representation of the all too real likelihood of just who you’re cybering with. Eeeyipes. And don’t even get me started on the occasional racist overtones in virtually every direction.
The Screenhead Ten Scale shakes its head at this strange little summer confection and gives it a seven out of ten for doing EXACTLY what it sets out to do and not one iota more. The only real reason it didn’t get more is that it likely shouldn’t have set out to do any of that in the first place.