Gamer (2009)

Amber Valetta and Gerard Butler.
At a glance:
Death Race meets Gladiator with hints of Run Lola Run fun, as Gerard Butler bulldozes and bamboozles us through more than two hours of explosions and dirty debris in a story about societal breakdown via technological advancement. Set in a not-too-distant future where people can control other people on a empire-like gamin environment, we follow how unwillin action hero John Tillman is a death row inmate given a shot at escape by winnin an live action online game called Slayers in which he is known as Kabel. However, other forces like evil media mogul and gamemaster Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall), ratings-obsessed talk show host Gina Parker Smith (Kyra Sedgwick) and a rebel group leader (Ludacris) come into play to force a clashin of sorts.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Not even 300 more Gerard Butlers could save this movie from being a mildly amusin, below average shoot-em-up pinned down by fast visuals with low engagement.
Perennial wonderment:
If I could beat Gerard Butler in a game of House Of The Dead. I probably could.
Watch out for:
Highlight performance by TV's Dexter, Michael C. Hall, as the maniacal villain who did somethin screenworthy with his enourmous presence and a crazy musical sequence (I've Got You Under My Skin) reminiscent of Alex and A Clockwork Orange. Also, small roles for Milo Ventimiglia (Pathology), Alison Lohman (Drag Me To Hell) and John Leguizamo (Ice Age 3), not to mention a prominent paradin of freckled beauty Amber Valletta, who plays Tillman's wife in funky, plastic sex suits. She sure reminds us of Peta Wilson in TV's La Femme Nikita. Rap star Ludacris also lives up to his name by providin a completely unbelievable and cliched turn as a rebel leader.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?Somewhere within Gamer is a good story but unfortunately the dour actioner just comes off as a PC game gone wrong and got projected onto a theatre screen instead. One recent film that critics like to compare it to is the 2007 actioner The Condemned, starrin wrestler Steve Austin and footballer Vinnie Jones. Critical reception to that movie was overwhelmingly negative and reviews for this one has been shapin up the same way. Oh well, at least we get a glimpse of Kyra Sedgwick on the big screen once every two years, eh? ★★
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