Gamer (Yeah…That’s The Best Title I Can Come Up With)

So, obviously, I love it when whole movies are about a brother and a sister…but sometimes it’s fun when something randomly incestuous just pops up.

The movie Gamer, which somehow flew under my radar when it originally came out because I’d never heard of it until I saw it on the DVD browsing shelves at my local library, had been staring me down for months.

I’d pick it up, read the back, and decide that even Gerard Butler wasn’t enough to get me through 90 minutes of people shooting each other with little more going on. But I finally caved, and decided that if it was going to catch my eye that often it was worth trying out.

In the end, it was a little bit more entertaining than I had initially anticipated, with a premise that while not realistic in my mind was at least interesting, but it was certainly all meant to be just because of one little moment.

Gamer takes place several decades into the future in a time when nano technology has advanced so far that your brain can literally be taken over and controlled remotely by another.

Michael C. Hall (of Six Feet Under and Dexter) is an inventor named Ken Castle who has created two games – Society, and Slayers – in which “volunteers” undergo a procedure to have this technology implanted in their brain. During each game session, a gamer has tele control over every physical action of the body of the “volunteer”/player.

Society is a Sims sort of game, where people interact socially (read: have sex). Slayers, on the other hand, is more like a first person shooter sort of deal. The players for Society are “actors” (they call themselves, but they’re more like prostitutes), but the players (or I-Cons, the official terminology) for Slayers are all inmates in the penal system. If they win 30 games, then they earn their freedom. The catch is that they’re shooting real guns, and playing each other, so game over = dead for good.

Gerard Butler plays John Tillman/Kable, the most famous of these players because when the movie starts, he’s already won 27 games when no one else has made it past 10.

The games are televised, and are wildly popular all across the world. Throw into the mix the activist group Humanz who are against Castle, the gaming, and the technology.

Kable, you can probably guess, was not guilty of the murder he was sentenced for. It all goes back to Ken Castle and his evil scientist ways. His wife, played by Amber Valletta (The Transporter 2), works for Society.

The scenes of her at work were more than disturbing – the guy controlling her wasn’t than just a pervert…he was evil. Milo Ventimiglia (of Heroes) had a very creepy cameo as someone that she “interacted” with.

And speaking of cameos, James Roday and Maggie Lawson (of Psych) had totally random roles as co-anchors on an entertainment news program. It was weird to enough to see either one of them in a role like this, but to see them together (they play love interests on the show).

And speaking of disturbing, there is one scene of vomiting that practically had me gagging. It lasted waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long. I don’t want to spoil it for you, because the idea was kind of cool/tricky, so I won’t explain how it came about, I’ll only warn you that if you do see this movie, beware of Kable during the scene when he’s drunk.

Anyway, back to the story: Kable, has a gamer, who unlike wifey’s gamer 1) has a name, and 2) isn’t disgusting. Kable is the I-Con of Simon Silverton, a spoiled, rich teenager who is obviously quite good at video games.

They don’t play with controllers, it’s more like that new XBox thing where the console reads your body’s movements. Simon is played by Logan Lerman.

I was wary, because Logan Lerman reminds me a little of Logan Huffman (and this was before I knew their names) who plays Tyler Evans on V, aka the most annoying television character ever…

(except for T-Bag from Prison Break).

But Logan Lerman is a pretty good actor, and he made me forget the unpleasant association. It’s funny – I’ve actually seen Lerman in a number of things – 3:10 To Yuma (great movie!) and Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (also great) most recently – but the thing I remembered him from was Meet Bill. That’s a rather quirky movie, and his character was so fun and interesting. He actually romances Jessica Alba’s character throughout the movie, and you totally want her to give in even though he’s still in high school.

Anyway, Kable is super famous, but Simon really doesn’t get the attention he deserves for winning all of those levels. I mean, he was really the one who did it, wasn’t he?

Pistachio butter…who knew?

Simon likes PB+J, gaming, and being annoying. Honestly, he really is a spoiled, disrespectful snot.

He’s got this room that’s like a 360 degree monitor. It’s really cool. We get to see him video chatting. He’s got psycho stalker/hacker fans, and two sets of girls from Britain who flash him and then offer him millions of pounds for control of Kable. And he doesn’t sell!

But where does the incest come in, you ask impatiently. Well, one of the people he chats with is his sister. (She’s labeled as Sissy Puss…do with that what you will, but I don’t think it’s a reference to Greek mythology…syphilis might be a closer guess.)

She says: “What’s up, loser? Mom says go to college, move the fuck out, and, oh yeah, you’re a sick retard and you’re pathetic, and you smell like Jeffrey Dahmer.:

He says: “Wanna make out?”

She says: “You wish. I can’t wait until they cut you off.”

He says: “Suck my balls, bitch.”

Lovely conversation, right? That’s about all – she’s never mentioned again. Why did I think this worth mentioning? I don’t know. Maybe because it was so random. Or maybe because the movie made an impression on me, even though I can’t exactly say that I liked it.

They’ve at least got fuel for a passionate relationship, right? She doesn’t like him very much, and honestly, I’m on her side, because he’s kind of a tool. It turns out that there’s a heart down deep inside of him, because he ends up relinquishing control for Kable’s sake…though things didn’t quite end up the way he had envisioned. And then later on he’s able to exploit his cyber connection with Kable to save Kable’s life. I liked it.

I can understand why the directors – Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor – made the movie the way they did, which is to say, flashy and staccato. It’s a commentary on our increasingly digital and fast-paced way of life. But it was a very unpleasant visual assault. I just don’t find myself thinking: “Wow, I can’t wait to go back and scar my corneas again.”

Gamer reminded me a lot of Surrogates (with Bruce Willis), which, again, is not a movie I’d go back and watch over and over again, but which I enjoyed. It was certainly easier on the eyes.

Gamer did have a lot of long shootout sequences, and lots of disagreeable things to look at it (like vomiting), but it posed some interesting questions, and there was a nice bit of mystery to it. Castle was soooooo annoying, but Hall did a great job making him so annoying.

There’s a very strange dance sequence, but it was also kind of awesome.

What I really liked was Simon, and his relationship with Kable. In the end, he really comes through for his “psycho”. I would have loved to have seen it explored a little more, but you get what you get.

ETA:

The script is available on IMDB here. It’s an actual script and not a transcript – you can tell because it’s different from what the actual movie is. Ironically, I was looking for it because there was a line that I couldn’t understand. I found a transcript which had the line clearly wrong – I guess the transcriber couldn’t understand it either. Then I found the real script, only for the line not to be in it. Thankfully after listening to it about 15 times I finally figured out what it was.

The best part about finding the script was that it reveals the sister’s name to be Shelly. I kind of liked knowing her only as “Sissy Puss” but I feel like she’s more of a character with an actual name.

 

 

This entry was posted in Action Adventure Movies, Films With Incest, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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