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Friday, September 4 12:00 AM ET

Trailer Review: Gamer

By Brian Briggs


This week I review the latest in Hollywood's attempt to scare people away from playing video games: Gamer. Fortunately, I think they'll do a better job scaring people away from the theater with this one.

The trailer opens with what looks like soldiers in a troop transport. We quickly learn they are part of a game. Video games have advanced to the point where one person can completely control another. Morality has declined so much that people don't mind killing someone just to play a game.

Kable, played by Gerard Butler, is controlled by Simon. Most likely so they can make some lame "Simon says" jokes. This isn't starting well, and it's only going to get worst.

Next, we found out that the soldiers are all death-row inmates. If they stay alive for 30 sessions then they get set free. The only problem is that no one has done that.

So Gerard Butler is a death-row inmate, any guess on whether he's been wrongly imprisoned? My sources say yes. If you're going to have a main character that's a prisoner in a fluff movie like this, then they have to be sympathetic. There won't be any complex character studies going on in this explosionfest.

Evil has a new name, and it is Dork

Speaking of explosions, I counted 25 explosions. There's probably more, but my brain started to get more numb each time I viewed the trailer. I wanted to stop before I fell into a trailer-induced coma.

Kable has reached 27 battles. "No one has come that close!" Kable is the perfect soldier that the people want to see. Yeah, it's not just a video game, it's a spectator sport. How come in the future we always like to watch people die?

Every party needs a pooper and for this party it's Ludakris. He proclaims that the prisoners are slaves. That part of the trailer doesn't go too far, and I expect it won't in the movie. It'll be ham-fisted social commentary, nothing deep or insightful.

"I coulda been a contender."

Next, we're introduced to Kable's wife. We learn he has a wife and daughter on the outside, and that he's due to be released soon. They are the only thing that's keeping him alive.

Enough with the touchy-feely, Kable wants to be turned loosed. As long as some 35-year old, depressed and overweight gamer is in control, he can't win the game. Of course, if I paid $14.95 a month to play Slayers, I'd tell him to fuck off and get back to work.

Kable finally reaches the evil mastermind behind the game. He tries to stab him, but he can't. He's under the boss's control.


Trailer Quicktime

Gerard Butler
Kyra Sedgwick

Director Mark Neveldine
Brian Taylor
Official Site Link
US Opening

September 4, 2009

Rated R
Genre Gamer Fantasy
Explosions 25
Weapons Assault rifle, handgrenade, missile, RPG launcher, knife, mind control, machine gun, big trucks
Man Quotient


Déjà Vu
Death Race
Geek Factor 68%
See Trailer? No
See Movie? No
Follow Up Unlikely

Finally, we end with a lengthy action montage only interrupted by Kable pleading with his wife.

Ending Prognostication: Kable finds a way to break free from the chains that bind him. He kills the evil mastermind and escapes the game. He finds his wife and daughter. Everyone lives happily ever after, well, as much as they can in a dystopian world.

Conclusion on Trailer: The concept is interesting, but the execution looks poor. The villain seems annoying more than evil. If you like explosions, explosions and explosions, then you'll probably enjoy the trailer. Otherwise, save your bandwidth.

Conclusion on Movie: Haven't we seen this movie before? I think so. This one only adds in the video game aspect of it, but that won't be enough to make this one interesting. Instead, I say stay home and kill some virtual people on your computer. It'll cost less, and you won't have to go outside.

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