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Gamer (2009)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 94,066 users   Metascore: 27/100
Reviews: 233 user | 175 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

In a future mind-controlling game, death row convicts are forced to battle in a 'doom'-type environment. Convict Kable, controlled by Simon, a skilled teenage gamer, must survive 30 sessions in order to be set free. Or won't he?

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(as Neveldine) , (as Taylor)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ramsey Moore ...
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Humanz Brother (as Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges)
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Geek Leader
Dan Callahan ...
Backup Geek
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Scotch
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Storyline

Set in a future-world where humans can control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online gaming environments, a star player from a game called "Slayers" looks to regain his independence while taking down the game's mastermind. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

game | convict | death | battle | online gaming | See more »

Taglines:

Who's playing you? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for frenetic sequences of strong brutal violence throughout, sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 September 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Citizen Game  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£641,568 (UK) (18 September 2009)

Gross:

$20,488,579 (USA) (2 October 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Efren Ramirez makes a very brief cameo as the DJ at the Society rave. See more »

Goofs

In the scene showing the pyramids in Egypt, the word "Kable" is displayed backwards in Arabic letters. Since Arabic is read from right to left, the way it is shown in the movie, it would be read as "Lebaak". See more »

Quotes

Ken Castle: [while struggling with Kable] I think it... you-fucking-do-it!
Kable: Look at this knife... imagine me sticking it into your gut. Think about it. Make it real!
[Slowly, the knife reverses and Kable stabs Castle in the gut. Castle screams and chokes]
Geek Leader: Oops.
See more »

Connections

Features 1942 (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bad Touch
Written by Jimmy Pop (as James M. Franks)
Performed by Bloodhound Gang (as The Bloodhound Gang)
Courtesy of Republic/Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

So-so at best, more notable for missed potential rather than what it does
18 September 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

At one point during this film my girlfriend commented that it "looked just like Modern Warfare 2" – a game she has seen me play all too much and all too frequently. Indeed it does look very much like a FPS at times and this is the point of what is essentially the concept of The Running Man updated for the modern world of online gaming and living other lives out via the internet. Although the idea is far-fetched in terms of controlling people and indeed killing them, it is not a huge step for a fantasy film and it stays close to the world of Second Life, The Sims and the Call of Duty online shooter franchise. So, to my mind, this film had potential to be relevant, interesting, insightful or at least have loads of good action.

The problem is that, while it does a very small amount of all those things, it doesn't really do anything particularly well. The makers/writers clearly know the world they are entering here (witness a fat man "playing" a hot woman online, or a soldier tea-bagging a fallen enemy in the middle of all the action) but they don't seem to have an opinion on it all or, if they do, then it doesn't come across very well in the writing. I say this because the social commentary here is minimal. OK there are certain things shown that are exaggerated versions of where we now are but that in itself is not enough to count – there is no opinion behind it, nothing for the viewer to think about either then or later on that evening. This leaves the action to carry the film.

On this front the film is "OK" as it has noise and a sort of plot for us to follow. Problem is that the way both are delivered actually detracts rather than enhances. I get the idea – the rapid editing and regular "static" touches to the footage meant to suggest the world of broadcast and online media. Problem is that it is all too frantic and too excessive to really engage. The "Second Life" sections are just too OTT to not seem daft and it doesn't feel like an established online game but rather everyone enjoying the novelty of it (which is not where this part of the film is). Again the hot pants, regular nudity and general female sexuality is all part of the gaming world but done to excess like it is here it spoils things a bit rather than being a fair observation – it feels the film is overdoing it on purpose to play to these viewers. Similarly the action is hampered by two things. Firstly the same frantic editing makes it all too chaotic and too hard to get into in terms of being an action movie. The second thing to note is that by being so close to a FPS in terms of look it forgets that generally video games are best when played and actually make for pretty dull viewing when you're waiting for your turn. The action scenes are mostly "so-so" where really these should have been the place where the viewer is "gotten into the film". Perhaps the style worked with Crank because the whole film was nonsense but here the concept doesn't suit it.

The cast were maybe attracted by the concept hoping for more intelligence but nobody has much to do. Butler remains to be nothing more than a solid presence to me – not sure why he is seen as a big star lead all of a sudden but here we are. He is OK I guess but his performance cannot find the humanity or comment that is lacking from the script. More irritating is the way Hall is wasted. So great in Six Feet Under and Dexter, he has very little to work with here – although he still works with it well. Sedgwick is equally wasted while Ludicrous appears to have done all his stuff in about two days and has no character to speak of. Crews is a physical presence but again his part in the film is so poorly thought out that he might as well not be there. Nobody really excels here and it is all about the delivery – which sadly isn't great either.

Overall Gamer is a distraction that works on that level but never gets close to the potential it has. At moments it seems like it will be excessive craziness like Crank was – but it doesn't ever follow through on that (even if it does produce a great moment for Pysch fans). It has a concept that suggests social commentary but doesn't have anything to say. Finally it sells itself as an action movie but is put together in such a way that the action doesn't have a flow to it that draws the viewer in. For all it offers Gamer is sadly average at best – distracting and short but that's about the height of the praise I can offer it.


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