There is no doubt in my mind as to who Gamer is made for, and though I wish people would finally acknowledge that girls like both video games and action films, I will refrain from stewing on the number of boobs I had blown up in my face for the entirety of this film. Especially considering that, even with all these little awkward moments, Gamer is still an awesome movie.
Gamer takes place in the near future, where the video gaming world has made huge advances. Two games that have taken the forefront across the globe are Society, a more mature cousin to the Playstation Home (found on the PS3 today) where people can meet with the “avatars” of other players from around the world to communicate, dance, and do pretty much whatever else they want, and Slayer, a more violent MMO (massively multiplayer online) where players shoot their way to the finish line.However, these aren’t just any video games; instead, the avatars are actually real people being controlled by other players. Kable (Gerard Butler) is one such avatar in Slayers, fighting to win his 30th match, the prize of which is being released from death row.
As I said before, Gamer depicts a very pessimistic view of man, especially in concern to our treatment of power, violence, and sex. Marketing towards what is in our human nature, both Slayers and Society are created so that people can act on these things without feeling any shame, regret, or consequences for their actions. If you want, you can become whomever you want in Society, much like what the Internet allows people to do now. And with Slayers, people can sign in, take control of a real inmate as they shoot their way towards the end of the level, amassing kill points for riddling real people with bullets, and therefore, killing real people in a guilt free situation. They volunteered to take part in this, after all.
Because this film takes place in three different “worlds”: Society, Slayers, and the real world, three different shooting styles are chosen to give a different look and feel to each one. Not to say that the real world was boring, far from it actually, but Society and Slayers were taken to more extremes. Of the three, my least favorite was Society because of its more skewed and frantic camera work, but it mirrors the heightened situation and idea that there are no limitations to what the players can do, so no harm done. And then Slayers took its look from basically any great action sequence in films, with slow motion sections, very noticeable bullets flying everywhere, explosions going off all around, and an extreme amount of gore. However, what I really appreciated was how these three styles weave in and out of each other, especially when the lines between the worlds are blurred as the plot moves in and out of them.
When this movie is broken down, people are not depicted in the best light. Actually, the characters filling the real world are much more grotesque than those that fill the other worlds, especially considering they are pulling the strings. However, though there is a lot of truth to the observations being made, the film never becomes too preachy about what people are capable of without limitations, but instead, remains a great action film with a really solid plot and amazing acting (especially Michael C. Hall’s Ken Castle, the master mind of it all). In other words, go see it.
Final Grade: A