Gamer, reviewed by Koutchboom

Surprisingly Gamer is a lot of fun


Ok, can everyone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop using the phrase “It looks like a video game” when referring to a movie. Because save for one terrible movie its never been true, and now it would be considered a compliment for a movie to be as involving and interesting as a video game. With that said….Gamer LOOKS LIKE A VIDEO GAME!!!

Not in the sense that everyone else lazily uses it, but in the sense that it’s suppose to look like a video game, two video games to be correct. The first one is a rip off of The Sims with humans and the other one is every first person shooter with humans. Both games have their own unique feel and vibe to them. While the hyperkinetic visual style of co-directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank 1-2) is going to put off 90% of everybody I feel like it was actually used to good effect in this film. Unlike the Cranks where it just feels like they are mashing random visual flair up just for fun.

I’m half surprised half not surprised that I liked this film. See I am a fan of the Neveldine/Taylor look and feel, but everyone called this a hack job and it seemed like they could have been nutered by a studio due to its bigger budget compared to the Cranks. This was a rip roaring totally awesome energy drink of a movie. Its not going to win awards or even make old people like this ADD style of film making but for what it sets out to do it does well and with a lot more fun then other action movies.

Gerard Butler and Amber Valletta Gamer

This is one of the more touching moments of the movie.

This may as well been called Running Man 2: The Gamer Generation, because it’s essentially the same idea with a much bigger scope. Some computer genius Ken Castle, played with great relish by Dexter (Michael C. Hall), found a way to implement mind control tech into peoples brains. So now you can sign up and control people and do very deviant things (Society) or kill prisoners who fight for their freedom (Slayers). The movie focuses more on the Slayers aspect of this future gaming world. Kable played by Gerard Butler is about to win his 30th battle in Slayer, so he will be let free, he was a death row inmate. He is being played by some high school kid, who does not realize that of course there is a big conspiracy behind The Butcher Of Bakersfield…I mean Kable. So with the help of underground techy Humanz Brother played by the whatever Chris Bridges he realizes that something is going on and allows Kable to control his own destiny and he escapes Slayer world right before he is set to win his 30th battle.

After that the movie goes to where you think it would go, his wife works for Society because she can’t make ends meat. He comes and rescues her along with the help of Kyra Sedgwick and Alison Lohman then goes on to battle and take control of his life from Ken Castle. The plot is pretty standard stuff, not a strong point but this is a dumb fun movie.

What I was most worried about is that the movie was going to be taken down a couple of notches compared to the Crank movies since they had a real budget to work with and this was being poised as some big action movie. Turns out the movie flopped and maybe had I seen it in theaters I would not have liked it as much. But as for a solid rental movie goes, this is tops. It’s a fun thrill ride with exciting action and interesting editing style. This sort of style is beyond shaky cam but I like it and felt that it worked here. The extended cameo from Terry Crews though was wasted as was the Keith David cameo, but everyone else in the movie I thought was used to great effect. I liked Michael C. Hall’s take on the maniacal all knowing villain though the final fight between him and Butler was a lot of hype for a bit of a let down. Butler does a believable job as being a possibly former military member who can run around and kill people which was all the role asked for.


Terry Crews could've been used better

It pretty much comes down to the trailer, if you liked the trailer then you will like the movie. The trailer does not lie to you, its as stupid as it looks and even now trying to go over it and review it (which means I have to think about it) is making me not enjoy it as much. I realize now that it just made all gamers slobs and losers who just want to watch sex and kill people. Though….at the same time that is probably true. Some of the heavier aspects of the movie are never realized. Amber Valletta is pretty much wasted as the lost women in Kable’s life. Kable is very one note. Blah blah blah see what I mean. I enjoyed it on a pure visceral level, which was the intention of the movie. This is pure mindless entertainment at its best.

This movie was also one of the first to use the RED camera, so maybe its just a big expensive footage reel for all the stuff it can do.

On a final note, are Gerard Butler and Jason Statham the new Arnold and Sly?

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About koutchboom


28 responses to “Gamer, reviewed by Koutchboom”

  1. Continentalop says :

    Yeah, it looks like a video game. A boring, lame game.

    And on top of it, they couldn’t even match the worst qualities in a video game: story and character.

    I have to say I disagree with you. I thought this movie blowed. If I was at AIBN I would have to give it the Fingernail of the Apocalypse.

  2. Continentalop says :

    I thought it was overall weak. The style didn’t bother me as much because it is trying to be a first person shoot ’em up (and a SIM city rip off) but that is all this movie was. Style. No depth.

    Which really pissed me off because you actually could have made a really fun. exciting and INTELLIGENT movie about the morality of entertainment.

    I mean, this fuckin’ punk kid is controlling him, taking him into these dangerous situations, and the kid never once questions the morality of it. The closest he gets to questioning the morality of it is when he gets in trouble himself for putting in an illegal upgrade in his game. Kids like this punk have been getting their jollies off from having cons run through a dangerous game, and this accomplice to murder is only given a slight discomfort for what he has done. This film doesn’t have the balls to ask “Is it wrong to enjoy playing games where you kill and die vicariously?” because that would piss off its target audience – gamers.

    I’ve pissed on the street and the puddle I made was deeper than this movie.

    • koutchboom says :

      Yeah like I said, the more I actually thought about the movie to more I begain to dis like it. But I know its not a deep movie and I think it works as a mindless action flick.

      When you saw it you mentioned how lame the action was, I didn’t get that at all I thought the action was pretty good. The man characters story is such a rip off of Running Man though.

  3. Continentalop says :

    No, I think how I mentioned how lame the pacing of the film is and how boring the action is because you just don’t care.

    • koutchboom says :

      I mean I was really surprised that I liked it. I think that LOW EXPECTATIONS rule came into play. Because at first I was like WOW that looks cool. Then it tanked and no one liked it. So I was expecting this terrible action movie.

      I mean I can totally see why you don’t like it. How do you feel about either Crank film?

  4. Droid says :

    The only time I attempted this was on christmas eve after the awesomeness of 5 hours of Red Cliff, 6 beers and a bottle of Gentleman Jack.


    on 25th December, 2009 at 1:10 am

    14 minutes in and i’m looking tn get the hell outta dodge… not a good sign.

    If I remember rightly I turned it off about 20 minutes in and watched Galaxy Quest.

    Galaxy Quest FTW!!!

  5. Continentalop says :

    I have not seen any of the Crank movies, and only one Transporter film. Those types of films don’t appeal to me.

    But the funny thing is I do like Statham. And even Butler. I just think they are in really shitty movies.

    • koutchboom says :

      What was kind of funny that Butlers wife in this movie was in Transporter 2 and the director said he had never seen her in anything before. I mean she’s hardly in Transporter 2.

      Transporter 2 is the best of the series, its more like a Jackie Chan film, for the most part. With some zany car shit inbetween. You should at least hunt down the paint can fire hose fight.

      How do you feel about Jason and Butt being the new Sly and Arnold?

  6. koutchboom says :

    Also there was like an hour and a half documentary about this movie on the special features. I was like fuck me a 10 minutes behind the scenes would have been fine. I fell asleep about 40 minutes in, too much patting of the back. I like the behind the scenes stuff where its just a guy filming everything thats going on, no one talking over it. Just so you can see the effort that went into making a scene not just some asshole sucking everyone off.

  7. Continentalop says :

    Well since Koutch loves Scorsese and old movies, I think this is the best place to put this link for Martin Scorsese’s 10 Favorite Movie Posters:

  8. herrmilflover says :

    I punch annoying customers at work, and it’s filmed by the security cameras. Okay not really, but it would be cool to be able to do it sometimes.

  9. herrmilflover says :

    I missed this one because it tanked and was out of theatres after two weeks. It’s pretty high on my to-see list.

  10. Bartleby says :

    Eh, might as well throw in my two cents…Gamer sucked. Although I kept thinking the whole time, this is just like Bubble Bobble for NES.

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