Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
As the story unfolded in Gamer, it quickly became apparent that the movie makers were taking the wedding custom to heart. Gamer is a pastiche of previous SF films, all thrown into a blender, poured into a semi-comprehensible concoction, and glazed over with the latest film style of quick cuts and jerky camera moves.
The movie opens with a slam, bang action sequence which quickly deteriorates into a jumbled mess of terrible editing choices as the action is rendered in a lump of jumbled shots. There is some initial interest though as we see that the players known as Slayers are controlled by someone else. So the movie is riffing off of multiplayer gaming and mashing it up in a reworked concept of Stephen King’s Running Man. However, this aspect of the game with players being controlled by someone else is perfunctory and never properly explored. The relationship between the main Slayer played by Gerard Butler and his controller goes nowhere and turns out to exist solely as a convenient plot device for the film’s climax.
Like the tacked on relationship between Gerard and his controller, so too is the back-story of Gerard’s character. His unjust conviction and quest to reunite with his wife and daughter play out like connect the dots. Perfunctory but with no emotional content. There are sequences with the wife where she acts as an avatar in a Second Life type of world that had the potential of interest but again terrible quick cuts and shaky camera movements dull the impact. The rule with this film seems to be that anytime there is something interesting to see, shoot it in the most annoying way possible.
The only time the movie comes alive is when Michael C. Hall, of Dexter fame, is on screen. His presence makes slogging through the rest of the movie worthwhile. Hall does a dance number near the end of the film that is worth the price of enduring the other parts.
Gamers is a movie that skims over the surface of ideas without ever taking the time to delve into any of them. It is as hollow as the future world of technology it has envisioned.
Definitely a renter and then only to see Michael C. Hall ham it up.