Monday, October 19, 2009

Gamer: Couldn't Be Lamer

ABOUT THE ONLY THING THAT'S GOOD about the new movie from the guys who brought you the Crank series is that it allowed me to rhyme "lamer" in the title of this review. No, seriously. Gamer is just plain incoherent.
Ostensibly, the movie is about some point in the future when convicts are being used as game avatars for remote players in a combat game where people really die. Basically, Death Race without the cars. There's also a corporate conspiracy here connected to the prison industrial complex - just like Death Race. So, what new insight or cinematic innovation did Gamer bring to the story? None, unless you count unwatchability and boredom.
It looks so terrible that I couldn't decide if the directors intentionally made it that way for some deep, misunderstood stylistic and political reason. Or perhaps they got into the cutting room and they had so little decent footage that they decided to try and cover it up with every type of seizure inducing cut and flash in the arsenal of a modern edit suite. Either way what they've created is a visual disaster with a storyline that's thin as gruel and characters that are flat and uninteresting. Besides all that it's thoroughly cliche with Michael C. Hall as a mustache-twirling type of bad guy and an offensive portrayal of an obese gamer with a penchant for using beautiful women as avatars.
In the spirit of trying to find something good in this nearly empty cup, I will confess that there is one enjoyable scene, involving Michael C. Hall performing "I've Got You Under My Skin" with a dance troupe of remote controlled convicts. But I'm afraid that one sequence is not enough to make-up for the other 88 minutes of your life that you'll never get back.
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