Genre: …………………………….Action, sci-fi, suspense
Director/s: ……………………….Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Running Time: …………………..95 mins
Budget: ……………………………$12,5 million
Released: …………………………04 September 2009
Set in a future-world where humans can control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online gaming environments…
What if, instead of controlling a 3D character in a game, you were able to remotely control an actual human being? That’s the premise of Gamer, and an interesting one at that. A genius named Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) created the technique, by means of self-replicating nanites which invade the brain eventually replacing the cells thus allowing full motor control by a third-party. In this case the ‘third party’ is your average gamer. The first offshoot of this technology to emerge was the community (Second Life-style) game; Society, an online game that allows players to control actual humans in a virtual pseudo-world. Slayers, an online third-person shooter, was next to emerge and proved to be the most popular as players take control of death-row inmates in mass-scale death matches. If the inmate can survive 30 matches he wins his freedom, the film is set in a point of time where the whole world is watching Kable (Gerard Butler), the current champion of the game controlled by a 17-year-old rich kid named Simon (Logan Lerman).
The film is filled with little in-jokes that actual gamers will appreciate, like ‘NPC’s’ walking into walls much in the same way that glitchy sprites would in a video-game and a cameo (near the beginning) of a character that looked very much like the G-Man from the Half-Life series. Not only does this film pay tribute to gamers, but it also criticizes them, in one instance, the player of a sexy female avatar in Society is actually a morbidly obese, waffle eating sweaty fat fuck, which ironically is in most cases an accurate representation of the modern gamer although the recent increase in popularity for gaming over the last decade (thanks to Sony and Microsoft) has made it trendy thus changing the stereotypical view that gaming is the exclusive domain of geeks and anti-socials.
The film also contains much satire, specially with commercialization and advertising, much like in reality, Gamer shows how glossy advertising is creeping into every facet of our lives, constantly telling consumers what they must eat, wear, drive and even think. Sadly, Gamer isn’t too far off the mark as that sort of mass-advertising/commercialization is an inevitability. I’,m sure marketers are working on ways to pump advertising into our dreams much like in Transmetropolitan.
Though the overall plot is pretty basic and the film uses over used plot devices, Gamer still manages to get one thinking about how technology and advertising affects us, but if that’s not enough for you, the film is filled with tonnes of action and violence to keep action fans pleased. Gerard Butler gets to flex his muscles and kick plenty of ass (who else can snap a dude’s neck twice?) while Michael C. Hall demonstrates his theatrical ability. Overall I found Gamer to be highly enjoyable action flick.