HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  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 797 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 film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: