Regular visitors to Screened will have heard Rorie call movies 'not offensively bad'. For a while I wasn't totally sure what he meant by that. And then I watched Gamer.
As someone who loves crap like Tokyo Gore Police
, and Crank
, I went into Gamer hoping it would provide a kind of high-action stupid I could get behind, but even the firefights were dull. 'But check it out man, it's like they're REAL people in a videogame,' you say. So I ought to feel bad when people get killed? Or is it intended to be cool? The movie seems confused about this. The intended 'coolness' of the action is contradicted by the fact that it's immoral. Or not. I don't know.
Suffice it to say that all the shoot outs are lazily directed and boring. Now let's talk about the plot. ... Wait, what?
It's the future and people can pay to control other people's bodies from their living rooms. Nanotechnology is injected into their brains or something, I don't know I'm not a scientist, just roll with it, it gets worse.
The prison system is now privately owned by Michael C. Hall
who allows convicts to compete in a game to earn their freedom. Gerard Butler
's a few matches away from release, but matches start getting rigged and eventually he has to break out, reunite with his family and take down the bad guy.
It's simple to the point of kind-of stupid, but whatever, you don't come to this movie looking for intellectualism. You'd think it would be pretty hard to fuck up a plot this mundane and it must have been so kudos to Gamer for that.
We accept Gerard Butler as the good guy only by virtue of his persona as an actor. The character is effectively 'Gerard Butler, Leading Man', with no psychological or emotional depth. He's the good guy because he has been wronged and he's wronged because he's the good guy. 'He misses his family, sympathize dammit!' is not compelling. While he's imprisoned his wife has to sell her body and there's one scene of her crying I think, so at least there the director attempts to earn some sympathy for a character.
Then there's Hall as the bad guy who, again, is bad because of the necessity of a bad guy. His character lacks any motivation for being evil. He has money and power, but he makes death row inmates kill each other. That's bad right? Yet we see him act nefarious beyond legitimacy.
I've used up too much brain power writing about this shit so here are a few questions I was left with:
How can the most recognizable man in the world walk around with ease in broad daylight?
How does a lone fugitive magically get from point A to point B?
How did that guy fly up into the air?
How are there a billion inmates when so many of them get killed in the game?
Why are essential plot points given 30 seconds of screen time?
Why doesn't the richest guy in the world have a gun? Why don't his guards have guns?
Why the fuck would he adopt a little girl?
Why is there a song and dance number?
Why do important characters disappear sporadically?
Why God? Why?
Gamer is a scabrous asshole of a movie. It is not even enjoyable in it's idiocy. It's offensive to the audience on every level. Nothing about the story is interested and the entire things like it was crudely glued together by a group of heroin junkies. If you're comfortably being treated like the incestuous child of retarded, lobotomized monkeys then you will probably think this movie is 'just ok'. But if you can read this then for the love of God RUN.