HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Await Further Instructions
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
In Order of Disappearance
Charlotte's Web
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
   
 
Newest Articles
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
   
 
  Gamer Player HatersBuy this film here.
Year: 2009
Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Stars: Gerard Butler, Amber Valletta, Michael C. Hall, Kyra Sedgwick, Logan Lerman, Alison Lohman, Terry Crews, Ramsey Moore, Ludacris, Aaron Yoo, Jonathan Chase, Dan Callahan, Brighid Fleming, Johnny Whitworth, John De Lancie, John Leguizamo, Keith David
Genre: Action, Science Fiction
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the future and computer gaming has evolved to the next level, whereby now you can control an actual person thanks to nanotechnology implanted into their brains. The man behind this advance is Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall), a genius whose methods have opened up new vistas of leisure time to the world, but have also created a class of people who are more or less forced to participate as the characters being operated in the games. The first game is Society, where these unfortunates give up their freedom to act out the players' fantasies - but the second game is even more serious.

We were back in futuristic dystopian game scenarios yet again, and after The Tenth Victim and Rollerball and The Running Man and Series 7: The Contenders and countless more with The Hunger Games to follow, they were updated to the computer game age to tell the gamers off for unthinkingly playing out these violent concepts. Except in the hands of directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor you could tell they were revelling in it all and how it allowed them to tell a story warning audiences of the perils of soulless sensation while pretty much being soulless sensation itself. You could accuse them of hypocrisy, though their Crank movies had featured the same levels of mayhem without the moralising.

And the Crank movies were more enjoyable for not having that serious dimension to drag everything down, even if they went all out to exhaust the viewer with a barrage of imagery and noise. The trouble here was that they wished to teach us a lesson, and they were grindingly heavy-handed about it, so it was little wonder nobody flocked to see this when there was a Crank sequel to be getting on with. Some did like a lecture with their sex and violence, but it was so blatant that you were meant to be getting off on the movie's excesses that the tonal confusion hampered the plot fatally, leaving not shock but a shrug, unimpressed at what may have been busily conceived, but wasn't especially entertaining.

Gerard Butler was our hero, a man who plays in the second game Slayers, which takes the form of pressing convicts into service as pawns in a war game. If they die, well, that's no great loss, they were serving sentences for grave crimes, and the bonus is that they've contributed some excitement to those who control them and those who like to watch. The idea that people actually enjoy seeing convicts punished to the extent it passes for entertainment is an intriguing one, but like a lot of what went on here never went much beyond the facile, another element of the supposedly daring nature of the film. And given that Tillman, the character Butler played, is really innocent was either a get out clause for the directors or a massive cliché.

Or both. Tillman is the best Slayer around, except it's not too clear if that's down to his personal skill in combat or because the chap directing him, Simon (Logan Lerman), is so good at the game. Later on, of course Tillman is revealed to be great at what he does, which begs the question why bother have the prisoners controlled in the first place if they're going to do just the same without their players? Tillman's wife Angie (Amber Valletta) is part of the Society arrangement now that she has lost everything - including her daughter who has been given up for adoption - and he must save them both, leaving this far more conventional than you might have hoped for all these bells and whistles going on around the characters. Every so often there will be a moment which indicates what could have been done to capitalise on the decadent future premise, but the best bit is where Hall performs a dance number to Sammy Davis Jr's singing, apropros of not much. Music by Robb Williamson and Geoff Zanelli.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 913 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: