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Movie review by David Blackwell


91 minutes, Rated R


STUDIO:  Lakeshore Entertainment/ Lionsgate

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  9-4-2009


STARRING Gerard Butler (Kable), Michael C. Hall (Ken Castle), Kyra Sydgewick (Gina Parker Smith), Logan Lerman (Simon), Ludacris (Humanz Brother), Alison Lohman (Trace), Amber Valletta (Angie)

WRITTEN and DIRECTED by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor

In the near future, William Castle has become richer than Bill Gates.  He has created two games called Society and Slayers.  In Slayers, people can control death row inmates as they kill each other in a first person shooter video game.  If the prisoner survives 30 games, he gets paroled.   Kable has survived 28 games being controlled by his player Simon.  Society is where people let themselves be controlled by other humans to do weird things to each other including getting it on (sex).   Then you have a renegade group of programmers (called Humanz) looking to crack the game code of Slayers and Society, and bring it crashing down.


GAMER is like the 21st century answer to RUNNING MAN.  If Stephen King wrote RUNNING MAN now, the result could have been GAMER.   It is scary that our world could head in this direction as we could lose control to others in the name of entertainment.  Also GAMER works as an energetic action movie that recalls movies like DEATH RACE and RUNNING MAN.   Sometimes it is disorientating to see the action scenes like you’re looking through a computer screen.  


Gerard Butler is like today’s answer to the iconic action actor.  Kurt Russell and Arnold Schwarzenegger used to be iconic actors who were in action and sci-fi films.  Now it is Gerard’s turn to be that iconic action actor.  Michael C. Hall pulls off Ken Castle as a rude billionaire with no morals (imagine Dexter as a rude jerk hic and you have Ken Castle).   GAMER also gives a glimpse into the media culture that is the future of GAMER.   Whether you look for commentary or action, GAMER is an action sci-fi to see now.


This movie review is (c)9-5-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com