"Gamer" tore me in two. In one sense, it was rocking a great action/sci fi vibe that was definitely into and in another sense, it wasn't going where it could have gone. The concepts and ideas touched on in "Gamer" have some serious weight behind them and yet the film never really rises about a "Running Man" level of entertainment.
And to give the film credit, it is damn entertaining. With Neveldine and Taylor (our ADD jacked directors here) you know that you are going to get something on film that probably resembles a game more often than not. They did it with the "Crank" films and they do it here. Explosions galore, random flaming people and/or vehicles falling from the sky, massive gun wounds, chases with giant urban snowplows, and a fairly awesome dance sequence that morphs into a hand to hand combat display all make their mark here. It's hard to say that I wasn't entertained. Here's the kicker though. With the somewhat more impressive plot work than their other films, "Gamer" tends to carry some actual intellectual luggage around with it. Which is both a blessing and a curse for the film.
It's a blessing because despite the neandertha-lish frantic technique of the film, its nice to have a plot that balances it out. Taking on the idea of how far do we go down the rabbit hole once we start letting power go to one man and various other game related issues. It's nice to have that. It's also a curse considering that they never really delve into it. It's there mostly as plot devices or surface values to keep the story going, which kind of sucks. It doesn't give us enough incentive to perhaps make this a multiple watch film like it could have.
I was also unimpressed with how quickly the film seemed to just 'tie' together at the end. Not giving too much away here, but things seem to pop out of nowhere, plot holes seemingly fill with nothing, characters miraculously survive and/or accomplish the good deed without a whole lot of explanation. I could have used a bit more time to allow everything to come together at the end.
Besides some of those bigger flaws, I did enjoy "Gamer". Not to mention that Michael C Hall steals the show everything he is on screen with his odd charisma. In fact, he's one of the big reasons I liked the movie as much as I did. I mean, the action was fun, Neveldine/Taylor work well on film with their style, and overall I was pretty entertained. I could have used a bit more punch to the story (no pun intended), but you get what you get.
Written By Matt Reifschneider