Every now and again, a film comes along with a vision of the future so poignant, harrowing and visceral that you are stopped in your tracks and forced to consider your own mortality. And every so often a film comes along to tell you the future is full of sex, explosions, people shouting and very little else. Gamer belongs to the latter group.
Just A Game
Watching Gamer is a bit like trying to play Grant Theft Auto when drunk; you know very vaguely that there’s a story you should care about, but all that really matters is that things are getting blown up, big style. If there was a coherent point to Gamer, we couldn’t find it.
The basic premise goes like this. At Some Point In The Future Really Soon, a new computer game is invented, a shoot-em up war epic called Slayers. This game is broadcast all over the world, and watched by millions. The twist? The ‘players’ in the game are actually real life people, controlled via a computer chip by kids who pay to have their ‘avatar’ created. Real life. Real deaths. Really stupid. “Wait!”” We hear you cry, “how on earth would anyone let real people die for the sake of some ridiculous, badly conceived game?” Well, the ‘avatars’ are actually villains on death row, and if they survive 30 rounds of gun-blasting mayhem, they get out of jail free. Sounds like great logic to us, why not train a murderer how to kill even more successfully, and then set him free? But hey, in this world of nonsense, anything goes. Into this world throw in leading man Gerard Butler, a fellow with the emotional sensitivity of a road accident, and a vague story involving his wife and child that you won’t care about. Gerard has only three rounds to go before being freed. But can he survive? And more importantly, who is the mysterious man behind the Slayers empire, and how will get his come-uppance?
All Guns Blazing…
Sitting through this film is like watching an extended MTV hip-hop video, the pace is fast, furious and blast-tastic, presumably so that no-one will actually notice the plot holes, lack of acting or logic throughout the 90 minutes. One is left wondering why the target audience – presumably computer crazy young scallywags – would bother paying for an non-interactive version of games they can play at home. If you’re not a gamer, there’s very little in this film that can appeal to you. If you are, you’ve already got everything this can offer in your X-Box collection.
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