No, I’m not talking about your cousin who sucks at videogames. I’m talking about the movie Gamer. As you may have guessed, the movie is about games, but instead of being a movie about a specific videogame or series, it’s about videogame life. No, it’s not a film depicting Paul Franzen creating Super Mario Bros. 2 walkthroughs; it’s about what gaming will be like in the future—shitty. You may already have guessed how I feel about this, and you’re absolutely right. This movie tries to make a point about videogame culture, but just ends up making a point about why some people shouldn’t write movies.
The movie takes place “in the near future.” Why couldn’t they be like Mega Man and just say it takes place in 20xx? I mean, you’re not even giving us something to shoot for like Back to the Future does. (Hey, five more years until hoverboards!) In Gamer, games have evolved to the point where gamers actually control real-life people via some interface where bullshit molecules are put inside the brains of the “actors.” The first game to do this is called Society. It’s basically The Sims or PlayStation Home, where people interact with other people. But rather than having phony digital personas, they’re taking on the physical persona of a real-life person, and dressing them up how they want. The second game is called Slayers, where death-row inmates shoot it out (with the help of gamers) with the hopes of living 30 rounds to get a real life pardon. The movie opens up with Gerard Butler (who’s had some decent roles recently, but not here) as a convict in Slayers who is a pretty tough dude and makes it to “The Save Point.” It’s this glowing bunker of safetyness…I guess. One guy says “Wow, you made it to the save point really fast.” I’m not sure why he would be impressed, since he was clearly there before Gerard got there.
The movie has a lot of gratuitous nudity and violence. But unlike GTA 4, where it actually plays into a fairly decent plot, this just throws it out there. There’s this big blob guy controlling a scantily clad woman, who is trying to get it on with another guy in Society. The dialog is shitty and it’s just ridiculous. It’s really pretty disturbing. During the Slayer scenes, there’s quite a bit of blood and decapitation, I guess trying to make a point about violence in videogames, particularly FPSs. But if anyone who made the movie actually played any real videogames, they’d know that most FPSs don’t have a lot of blood (if any) or shooting off of heads. If you think you shot off someone’s head in a FPS, chances are you just shot off their hat.
This movie just rips off a bunch of concepts from science fiction films like The Matrix, but what really takes it is that it’s just a clusterfuck of bullshit. Right in the beginning of the movie, they interview the creator of the two “real life” videogames. It’s so clear that the guy is the antagonist (aka the bad man) of the movie, but then they show the guy getting hacked by the future Ellen DeGeneres, and some underground guy (the token black guy of the movie) urging people not to play the game because they’re being controlled without them knowing or some crap. Oh, and Gerard is in fact an innocent man, fighting to get back with his wife and daughter. I’m surprised they didn’t give him blond hair and the ability to do Sonic Booms! The end confrontation is on a basketball court, but they don’t even play basketball. There is NO reason for this! At least give us a cool scene where he has to fight to make 30 baskets or die a la Escape from L.A.
I don’t even get who the target audience is. Clearly, by the title, you’d think it was targeted for the gaming community. But with such a jumbled up message, was it actually targeted for the parents? It’s almost like this was a PETA movie (if there is such a thing), but instead of trying to save the animals, we’re trying to save real life FPS characters (people don’t respawn in Slayers). Well, I don’t know what else to say. I know we don’t rate movies, but if we did, I’d give this a 2/10 because it sucked so bad it was good, but it was right on the threshold of “it’s so bad it’s bad.” Marge, in these modern times, when kids say “bad” they mean “good.” And to “shake your booty” means “to wiggle one’s butt.” Allow me to demonstrate….