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?
Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others' surrogates.
Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.
When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier, and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier's former ally, Magneto.
Dr. Bruce Banner, thanks to a gamma ray experiment gone wrong, transforms into a giant green-skinned hulk whenever his pulse rate gets too high. Meanwhile, a soldier uses the same technology to become an evil version of the original.
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
The opening montage of time-lapse shots and other scenes of the world where we see ads for Kable and/or graffiti of Ken Castle overlaid on buildings or walls are mostly taken from Ron Fricke's wordless film Baraka (1992), for example, the shots of the Giza Pyramids, India, homeless man sleeping under a bridge among others. See more »
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 »
Going into this movie, I wasn't really expecting a lot. I had only seen one short preview, which made it look like any other post-Running Man fight-your-way-out-of-trouble action flick that sees the protagonist trapped in a game show-like fantasy, going through army's of bad guys like Pacman through so many of those little pills. I didn't know however, that Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the writer/director duo that brought us Crank and Crank: High Voltage, were at the helm of Gamer. The first minutes of the movie made that distinctly clear, though, as high powered action and fast paced kinetic camera-work introduce us to the world of Slayer, a first-person shooter that has its inmate characters live and die at the control(s) of real world gamers. Movements of both players and camera and the feel of the game are right on the money if you've ever seen shooters like Counterstrike or Call of Duty.
The world of Gamer is a not too distant future where Castle, an overnight software giant shying the likes of Microsoft and Google, reigns supreme. Its young manager, media mogul Ken Castle, couldn't be more offspring of Generation X or Michael C. Hall's joyfully overacted and clearly Dexter-based part would be played by Coupland himself. The immense riches brought on by his revolutionary gaming technologies make him a have-it-all loner who has lost all contact with the everyday reality spawned by Taylor and Neveldine. The virtual world is slowly replacing the tangible one, as more and more people hook on to games like Society, where you get to control an actual human being in a more-or-less fictional setting, best described as Sims at a Mad Max-themed rave, dressed by Brüno. It is in these aspects that the directors are at their best, using internet and other digital references to portray these future playgrounds, hyper technological media and the next generation of adult entertainment. The kind of future not quite as dark as the one imagined by Orwell, but pretty scary nonetheless, like we're all trapped in the Ministry of Virtual Reality.
If Castle's virtual world Society laid the first bricks for his soon-to-be world dominating company, second invention Slayer certainly paved the rest of the way, captivating a loyal audience the world over. The hero of the game is Kable (a contemporary Ben Richards if you will), or John Tillman outside the map of the game, played by Gerard Butler. A prison inmate who gets a fighting chance for parole, if he successfully completes thirty missions in Slayer. Which means the seventeen-year-old professional gamer that controls him has to beat a world full of other gamers, most notably Terry Crews' Hackman, an all-killing, all-dancing beast of man, whose impressive physique (neck), short singing routine ('I haven't got any strings') and the fact there's no-one in the real world controlling him make him more fierce than Dynamo, Fireball and Buzzsaw combined. Rich background casting is provided as well, seeing supporting parts for Ludicrous, John Leguizamo, Alison Lohman, Milo Ventimiglia and Keith David, among others (although some in a blink-and-you'll-miss-'em capacity), but this is clearly an all-out Butler-show. Quite possibly due to the fact the makers intended to put moviegoers into the perspective of his character as well.
Tillman's wife (Amber Valletta) and daughter on the outside are what keep him going, but we soon find out he hides an important secret as well; one that Castle would very much like to remain hidden. In the end, that gambit combined with the somewhat rushed climax are what amount to Gamer falling short of being a true original, but other than that I highly recommend you go see this movie. The extremely detailed look at a possible future makes it eerily clear we may be closer to an alternative 1984 than we are past it.
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