Reviews & Previews - Gamer

Posted on Sunday, March 07, 2010 at 06:00 PM


By: S. Tran

Starring: Gerard Butler, Amber Valetta, Michael Hall
Directed by: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Running Time: 95 minutes
Rated: R

No Game

I recently got a chance to see Gamer, the last film created by the same guys who gave us Crank. If you recall, the plot of that movie was a guy who had to keep his adrenaline levels super high or else he would die. Well it seems the director himself took the same approach to making this movie because it is something only someone with ADHD could possibly enjoy. Even those people might consider this movie too unfocused.

Gamer takes place in the near future where a business man named Castle (Hall) has created tiny nanites that can be placed inside people that allow them to be remotely controlled by other people. His most lucrative use of this technology is creating a pay per view event where death row criminals are pitted against each other in war games, each controlled by a citizen on the outside. Butler is Kable, a convict who is only three wins away from winning his freedom according to the rules of the show.

The premise of the movie is interesting but the writers completely fail to develop it in any meaningful way. I am more than willing to suspend my disbelief for the sake of a science fiction movie as long as the film makes some attempt to give me a rational explanation for some of the elements. The trouble with Gamer is that everything is just glossed over and the holes in the plot just keep multiplying. Scenes end abruptly without explanation and other seem to be inserted simply because they look cool, rather than because they serve any particular purpose.

The film itself is more like a music video than anything else. The editor on this movie must have gone insane as there are about 50,000,000 edits in the movie, of which about 10 help us understand what is going on. As a two minute trailer this movie works. As a 95 minute movie it does not, as evidenced by its poor showing in the theatres.

I'm not exactly sure how they managed to attract the talent they did to be in the movie. I have to think that Butler and the other actors were having serious thoughts about firing their agents for getting them involved in this mess. Hall tries to have some fun as the half crazed Castle, but he really seems out of place next to Butler as the brooding soldier. Valletta has the unenviable task of spending half the movie in skimpy outfits being groped.

The movie is out on DVD if you really want to watch it, but your best bet would be to see it for free on T.V. Trust me, you can wait.


2 out of 5 Stars.

S. Tran also writes at, and


NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to