The PS3 Attitude Movie Review; Gamer
Friend of PS3 Attitude, Cleric20 of Dark Matters, serves up another of his excellent movie reviews for your delectation. Grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy as he gives you the full lowdown on Gamer, starring Gerard Butler.
If Sci-fi shoot ‘em up Gamer is to be believed then the future of gaming is less about motion control and more about nano-cells…
These are real small critters, a thousand times smaller than dust particles. If you inhaled a cloud of them you wouldn’t even know until it was too late – they’d be replicating, spreading like a virus, multiplying in exponentials throughout your nervous system. In under just six months a hundred million people could be ‘converted’ and by that I actually mean ‘enslaved’.
Yes, this is Gamer and we’re in a dystopian future where nano-cell infused people can be controlled by players. In Gamer, there are two big franchises featuring this incredible (if morally dubious) technology.
First up is ‘Society’, a Second Life-like game that looks like a real life version of the PlayStation Home, just without any moral boundaries. Players pay to control real people – who get paid for letting themselves be controlled – and there don’t seem to be any limits as to what they can be made to do.
Needless to say that this set up leads to a lot of stereotypical fat male gaming slobs perving as they make scantily clad hot females act out their fantasies. The online depravity of ‘Society’ is only really hinted at – it could have formed a whole different ‘arty’ movie in itself.
Then there’s the even darker alternative game, ‘Slayers’, which is where Death Row inmates are controlled by gamers in battles that play out like real-life Call of Duty or Killzone 2. High powered weaponry and armour can be downloaded to the players for a price, as can various modifications to the players abilities. In a Running Man styled incentive, if a player survives 30 games they win their freedom with a full pardon, but no-one has yet achieved this goal.
Step up grizzled macho hero Kable (Gerard ‘300’ Butler) who has become a celebrity star of Slayers by surviving 27 games. Will he – controlled by his hotshot 17 year player Simon (Logan ‘3:10 to Yuma’ Lerman) – be the first to win his freedom? Could he even be the one and only to escape the Slayers game world, find and free his wife Angie (Amber ‘Transporter 2’ Valletta) who is being sexually exploited in ‘Society’ and generally save the world?
Obviously there are some off the shelf rebels who try to assist Kable – led by rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges – who start to slip his player Simon some illegal mods (such as an alteration that allows him to directly talk to Kable in game). However, the Humanz (as the rebels call themselves) do feel a bit tacked on to the main story of ‘one man against all the odds’.
Both the nano-cell based games are created by nasty media mogul Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall from TV’s Dexter) who seems to have plans to expand the games to the point where we are all being ‘played’ (which begs the question, who would be playing at that point?). But Kable might just be the man to foil Castle’s dastardly plan, so he must be silenced at any cost.
Directors Neveldine and Taylor have carved out a reputation for making films that kick ass first and ask questions later with two Crank flicks under their belts. Gamer continues the dim-witted hyperkinetic action elements of the Crank series but ups the firepower.
Things get blown up in high definition; cars, helicopters and of course people get demolished in blood-thirsty close up. Then for the ultimate sex ‘n’ violence combo we have ‘Society’ which delivers pulsing babes and nudity to the strains of The Bloodhound Gang’s ‘The Bad Touch’.
Gamer isn’t actually as big or clever as I suspect the makers were secretly hoping it to be but it does deliver some tasty wham bang action, gratuitously sexist titillation and interesting conceptualisation as to what the future of gaming holds. If the next generation of consoles come with head chips to insert or micro-cell level integration, it might be wise to stick with the trusty PS3!
Having said all that, Gamer is a perfect Friday night romp (and much better than the limp Bruce Willis vehicle Surrogates which depicts a human-shaped robots as live avatars storyline).
I’ll leave you with the words of nutty Gamer character Ken Castle who could well be talking about the cinema audience:
“When they watch their hero die right in front of their eyeballs so sharp and vivid it feels like you could reach out and touch the wet flesh, they’re going to change their point of view. They’ll be seduced by the power of violence; the dominance. It’s human nature.”
Gamer is rated UK:18/US:R and was directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.