“Gamer” is the summer’s last big bang

Alexander Kohnstamm

“Gamer” is truly the final hurrah for the summer, and it gives everyone one last big bang. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the creators of “Crank” and “Crank 2,” have taken it up a notch for this movie. Neveldine and Taylor seem to have created “Gamer” by taking a concept from the film “Death Race” and combining that concept with the gaming ideology that these filmmakers are known for.
Gerard Butler plays the role of Kable, and he gives this role a real extra kick. Kable is the best combatant in a game called “Slayers.” This “game” is a real-life war zone, a war zone that takes in death-row inmates who volunteer for the chance to be freed if they can make it to the “checkpoint” by winning 30 battles.
The volunteers become “I-Cons” and are hooked up to Netex, which is a brain-based software package that allows a gamer to control the actions of the “I-Cons.” Kable’s maneuvers in “Slayers” are controlled by Simon, played by Logan Lerman.
The gaming technology behind Netex was created by Ken Castle, played by Michael C. Hall, who got his fame by creating “Society.” “Society” is like “The Sims,” but with real people who either get paid to be played or who pay to play.
Kable’s wife, Angie, played by Amber Valletta, works as an actor in “Society” to make a living. All of these disparate plot details come into play as a hacking group called “Humanz” – led by Ludacris – starts to terrorize Netex and to try to get the world to understand that people have been enslaved to the gaming and technological world.
The alternate reality depicted in “Gamer” seems scarily plausible, as whole buildings are used as billboards and commercialism has reached a new height – everything in the world of “Gamer” is based on technology and money.
Neveldine and Taylor do a remarkable job of ensuring this world is shot well. As a result, audience members miss nothing, and they are able to understand the chaos that surrounds “Slayers” and the gaming world, which is very intense. Though the cinematography and cast make the film look like as if it would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, the film’s budget was merely 12 million dollars.
I have enormous respect for Neveldine and Taylor, who are on the cutting edge of directing action films. The two directors like to stretch reality and bend it to their will, and they do a sensational job of that here.
By taking “Gamer” into a gamer’s mind, Neveldine and Taylor have created a unique concept. In how many other movies does someone get to control the body and manipulate every move of another person? The movie also delivers a message about how people’s morals are starting to become lax – decaying morals make escapism through a world such as “Society” plausible.
I really enjoyed “Gamer” and highly recommend it to those who loved the “Crank” movies – especially the first one – and who want a real adrenaline rush. “Gamer” is a guaranteed bang for your buck if that is what you want.