Retro Movie Review: Gamer (2009): Visionary Epic… or Tawdry Trash?


“I’m wired too. I replaced 98% of my own noodle with nano-tissue years ago. But mine’s different. It’s built to send, to transmit, whereas every other nano-cell that I’ve put out there, including the ones in your head Kable, are designed to receive. I think it, you do it. “



My verdict tends towards trash. With all of the hyperkinetic action and none of the flair of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor’s earlier work, Gamer has little replay value, although, to be honest, this comedy sci-fi thriller has its moments


Not many, but a few.


"Gamer" - Official Trailer [HQ HD]


The pair gained cult success with the Crank movies, but dropped the ball with the lousy twofer of comic book adaptations Jonah Hex (2010) and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011).


Gamer sits between the two extremes; there’s enough of the Crank spirit to enjoy, but the gratuitous smut quotient doesn’t work this time and the picture looks strangely dated and cheap, harking back the era of The Lawnmower Man (1992), Johnny Mnemonic and Virtuosity (both 1995).


Gamer Society Intro


The duo would probably fared better by casting Crank star Jason Statham in the lead role of John ‘Kable’ Tillman, (the highest-ranked warrior in the worldwide hit online game ‘Slayers’), rather than Gerard (‘This is Sparta!‘) Butler. Not that Gerry can’t do action-comedy, but his heart doesn’t appear to be in this hot mess.


Michael C. Hall’s (Dexter) bad guy Ken Castle is an unfunny a-hole; you want evidence, watch the following clip. Hall obviously thinks he’s the nuts, deluded tool that he is…


Gamer - I've Got You Under My Skin


A strong cast also includes the ubiquitous Logan Lerman (Fury, Hunters etc), the even more ubiquitous John Leguizamo, Ludacris, Amber Valletta, Terry Crews, Alison Lohman, Milo Ventimiglia, Kyra Sedgwick, Keith David and Zoë Bell.


Anyway, as far as Gamer goes:


‘you pays your money and you takes your choice’.


Gamer flopped at the box office, making $42m on a $50m budget.

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Stephen Arnell

Culture Comment Content Provider. Portrait courtesy of artist Darren Coffield. 'Non satis me tempo'