[b Seen on: [/b September 4, 2009
[b The players:[/b Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor, Writers: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor, Cast: Gerard Butler, Amber Valletta, Michael C. Hall, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Kyra Sedgwick
[b Facts of interest:[/b Mark Neveldinea and Brian Taylor also directed the “Crank” flicks.
[b The plot:[/b In a future world, humans spend their time controlling other humans in a deadly online multiplayer game… until one player manages to escape.
[b Our thoughts:[/b Up-and-coming filmmakers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor delivered some highly enjoyable big-screen entertainment in â€œCrankâ€ and â€œCrank 2: High Voltage,â€ but in their latest action spectacle â€œGamer,â€ they fail to deliver the goods. This is by no means a terrible experience, but it’s just not as vibrant as their previous two efforts.
â€œGamerâ€ really is a crazy show though, and it starts with a totally over-the-top story that forces you to suspend your disbelief if you plan to enjoy this movie to a certain extent. Set in the future, the film focuses on an online multiplayer shooter game called â€œSlayers,â€ in which humans literally control human players through a series of deadly sessions all the way to victory.
Most of the players are death row inmates who underwent mind manipulation and are forced to participate in the game, and their only way to freedom is to make it through 30 battles alive. The only one capable of reaching this goal is Kable (Gerard Butler), a man who was taken from his family and is driven by revenge against â€œSlayersâ€ creator Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall).
Eager to complete the game and not let Castle determine how it all ends, Kable decides to somehow beat the system and escape the game, which obviously creates a whole lot of boom and triggers a massive manhunt in what quickly develops into the ultimate showdown between good and evil. So, who wants to play?
â€œGamerâ€ certainly boasts a number of action-packed sequences that successfully captured my attention and offered me the kind of big-screen suspense I was hoping to experience, but there are times the film slows down a tad too much for my taste. In other words, some of the action we get to witness here is nowhere near as crazy and ridiculously spectacular as in the â€œCrankâ€ flicks.
Sure, the latest Neveldine/Taylor pic includes a bunch of explosive, very gory and other ultra-violent moments, but scenes like the final showdown, for instance, had me yawn more than they got me excited. It feels as if they ran out of ideas as the story comes to a close, and that’s not necessarily the effect you would expect from these guys.
The games scenes do work most of the time, and the plot picks up some suspense when Kable decided to play according to his own rules. Butler proves to be a solid action hero who’s got what it takes to kick major ass, and he’s definitely a plus in the flick. Michael C. Hall, on the other hand, delivers one hugely disappointing performance as the villainous control freak.
[b Freaky quote[/b : “Turn me loose.” â€“ Gerard Butler
[b The final word:[/b If you hated â€œCrankâ€ and its sequel, chances are you will not want to play this â€œGamer.â€ Other than that, this qualifies as a totally brainless but occasionally entertaining action film that may actually end up finding a fair amount of supporting players. We’ll see soon enough if this one will win at the box office.