Although it may be considered a box office bust with its 4th place finish in its opening week, taking in only 9.1 million, Gamer is a movie with a lot to enjoy. Set in a not to distant future, Gamer tells the story of a technology based world where role playing games such as todays, World of Warcarft and Sims, have been replaced by "Slayers". Slayers is a war-style game that allows users to take control over real death row inmates who have to fight to stay alive. If the inmate survives for 30 matches they get set free.
Gamer has a very ambitious plot which makes the movie-goer think about things like; morality, the line to draw for technology, the value of human life, and modern slavery. Although the film is generably enjoyable, both as an action movie and as an interesting drama, there are a few things that prevent Gamer from being a great movie. These ambitious ideas needed to be developed a little more, granted you get the general idea of what they are trying to say with this movie, but the character development around these ideas just is not there enough for the viewer to be as emotionally invested as they need to be. This movie actually would have been better if it was longer. In addition, it has a somewhat anticlimatic ending that was not built up enough and does not deliver on the momentum the movie generates throughout. Gerard Butler is great in his first real action role since 300 made him a household name, however, his character does not get fully developed either. The most interesting part of the movie were scenes such as the conversation his character, Kable, has with the person who is controling him, Simon, while he is in the middle of a battle. This is the kind of concept and thought provoking plot the movie had the ability to create but ultimately there was not enough of these moments.
Gamer was a good movie that could have been a great movie. Its definitely worth seeing, but it falls short of being the intelligent commentary on our technology driven world that it tried to be.