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3.5 out of 5 stars104
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 21 March 2010
I went into this expecting to see... well, basically what's been described so many people here. Mindless, extreme action. Sometimes, that's what you want to watch, sometimes it isn't. Today, I was curious.

One of the first things that struck me (besides the use of 'teabagging' as seen in various FPSes) was how video game violence translates to "real film". Gamer is the most effective translation of video gaming to film, and it made me realise just how horrific some of the things we find hilarious and awesome in our games would be in a more realistic medium. Body parts go flying, heads are blown off, and every step of the way, the game/film connection felt very deliberate and fairly powerful at times.

The social commentary is not very deep or subtle, but it's interesting and probably not as far from the truth as one would want to think. The film goes to extremes because it tries to portray the extremes of humanity in a world where Second Life and Modern Warfare are real. It's not, as one reviewer here calls it, a misogynistic and homophobic film.

Visually, it's as over-the-top as everything else in the film. The jittery, jolted imagery is meant to convey the game world and succeeds some of the time and fails miserably some of the time. Most of the time, it works just about enough for me to roll with it without making too much of a fuss. The Kingdom was much worse in my opinion.

Perhaps I just had really low expectations. Perhaps I'm a braindead dimwith. Whatever the case, I quite enjoyed Gamer.

Tarkovsky, Kubrick or Kaurismaki this ain't. Don't expect it to be a ponderous, slow-moving meditation on the devaluation of human life like Moon. Expect it to be a crazy, extreme belly-roar about how human life is worth flick-all these days. Take it for what it is.
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Set ‘some years from this exact moment’ Gamer explodes into our conscience with a visceral attack on the senses. This audacious gut-churning odyssey into an imagined near future has a dark morbid humour running through it as it examines a possible consequence of scientific advancement and the blurring of the virtual and real worlds. Although the violent blood-lust game Slayers at times reminded me of the brainwashing scene in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange with its kinetic editing of gory images it was the more perverse and slightly alternative game Society which was the more disturbing as willing avatars and their players indulge in grotesque desensitised practices. This is a dystopian vision which nods to films such as The Running Man, Rollerball, The Truman Show and the underrated Surrogates but this is a movie where the dial is definitely turned up to eleven as it bludgeons the watcher into submission despite its stereotypical narrative and characters. Both Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall play ‘bad’ and ‘mad’ to the hilt and the scene where Hall performs I’ve Got You Under My Skin is bizarrely brilliant. Unquestionably a film which leaves its mark.
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The film has a similar theme as "Rollerball." An individual becomes larger than the game, so the game must be changed to take care of the individual. Nanotechnology, the technology that makes friction free ketchup bottles, will allow us to place a controlling chip in a human's brain that will allow someone else to control their actions, speech etc. People pay to be controllers and get paid to be controlled.

There is a society aspect to the game where people are controlled for their own perverted pleasures. Criminals are controlled in a Slayer game where they fight with simulated automatic weapons. Kable (Gerard Butler) is our James Caan. He is a criminal on death row whose crime we see in a flashback. He is controlled by a 17 year old kid named Simon (Logan Lerman) as in Simon Says. After 30 successful games, a criminal gets set freed. No one has done it yet, Kable is close.

To prevent his freedom, a ringer with no controller (faster reflexes) is placed in the game to get Kable. There is also an anarchist group known as "HUMAN" who is at work sabotaging the Matrix, eh ah the system.

I liked the Marilyn Manson soundtrack, but I thought they tried to get too cute at the end and instead should have just gone with a quick "Running Man" ending. They should have shortened the film instead of burdening us further with the message that poor people will prostitute themselves to the rich who enjoy being in control.

PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bomb, sex, nudity.
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on 13 April 2012
(THE FILM):
Gamer is a high-concept action thriller set in a near future when gaming and entertainment have evolved into a terrifying new hybrid. Humans control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player on-line games: people play people... for keeps. Mind-control technology is widespread, and at the heart of the controversial games is its creator, reclusive billionaire Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall). His latest brainchild, the first-person shooter game "Slayers," allows millions to act out their most savage fantasies on-line in front of a global audience, using real prisoners as avatars with whom they fight to the death.Kable (300's Gerard Butler) is the superstar and cult hero of the ultraviolent "Slayers." Kable is controlled by Simon, a young gamer with rock star status who continues to defy all odds by guiding Kable to victory each week. Taken from his family, imprisoned and forced to fight against his will, the modern day gladiator must survive long enough to escape the game to free his family, regain his identity and to save mankind from Castle's ruthless technology.
WHAT CAN I SAY?
Gamer This was one of the most interesting action films of the year, great story, great cast and lots of original concepts! You can't have much more fun with a film. Loads of violence but all-round fun, you will be rooting for Gerard Butler, his character is pretty cool.Brutal but very entertaining
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on 17 November 2012
This film is one of the kind people may love or loath completely, depending on which side they're on. IMO I find it a little distopic Sci-Fi gem, being all based on the freaky question: What if virtual reality could substitute the actual one we live in or,even worse, was manipulated by a mean yet powerful despot-like bloke?
As for the item itself,I can say this dvd is brilliant, featuring a very good picture and sound quality as well as very accomplished performances by the cast. One of Gerard Butler's best efforts and a film I recommend to you.
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**** spoilers ****

Basically, Gamer is a reworking of The Running Man - death-row inmates are given the option to participate in an ultra-violent combat game, with the chance (ha-ha - as if!) of winning their freedom. The twist here is that boo-hiss villain Ken Castle (played with relish by Michael C Hall) is into a little nanotechnology mind-control. It's loud, it's trashy, with lots of shaky-cam effects and seriously (I mean nausea-inducingly) strobing, quick-changing images. There's plenty of OTT action - some impressive and some downright silly - can you really run a car on alcohol-tinged vomit and urine?. Butler, although somewhat hamstrung by the whimsical script, does a decent enough job, but he was put to far better use in 300 and Beowulf and Grendal.

It's all a bit soulless though. We all know that the baddy will get his comeuppance - conveniently broadcast for the media-hungry public to see (once again a la Running Man) and loving family man Butler will earn his reward, but did I really care? Not much, to be honest.

It's not as clever as it thinks it is and certainly not as good as the films it seeks to emulate (as well as The Running Man, I detected some hat-tips to the original Rollerball and The Matrix). Leave your brain at home though and go with the flow and Gamer's crazy ride should just about keep you entertained for 90 minutes - special mention to the utterly off-the-wall song and dance routine just before the grand showdown!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 September 2015
Gamer is just big dumb fun. I love video games and I found the satirical depictions of popular shooter call of duty and sim games such as the sims and second life, hilarious. There is no realism here, it's just a lot of crazy action, bright colours and wisecracks.

The effects are decent, the acting is pretty cheesy and the story is utterly implausible. And I don't care, because this film is great fun. It's mindless entertainment, and sometimes that's what I'm in the mood for, which is why I gave it five stars.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 August 2013
The attempts to emulate the gaming world had a jarring effect on me and despite its short running time the stuttering editing quickly outstayed its welcome. At times I didn't feel like I was watching a fully coherent movie. This is a shame because there's a decent tale hidden in here. Gerard is engaging as allways and the rest of the cast are really just ok. Had it left out the social commentary and just went for a by the numbers action adventure it could've been a classic.
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on 8 September 2013
Very Gerard Butler, so you probably need to be a fan... Quick delivery... Great price,,, I would tell my friends about it
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on 17 November 2010
You will even love or hate this, depending on how you imagine this film will be before you start to watch it.
Lots of action!
This film, if you let it, starts to make you believe in something you probably wouldn't in other films.
It didn't have many scenes where there was a lot of suspension which l thought it would but l feel this action packed movie makes up for that!
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