Sunday, September 6, 2009


This movie is a combination of two movies and the frightening potential of nanotechnology. Jason Statham's 2008 Death Race where he plays Jensen Ames is one of them. The original is Arnold's Running Man which was based on a Stephen King book, although considerable different.

300's Gerard Butler plays a convicted murder named Kable. He is in prison for murder but we really do not. It turns out he was beyond framed but controlled by a power hungry but technological maestro played be Michael C. Hall who is Ken Castle. Castle developed some technology that interested the military. It was mind control by injecting nanobytes into peoples' brains. For some reason, the military disengaged itself with this notion-their conscious took command for the better. It was not that much different, but with technology and not psychology, that was occuring in Manchurian Candidate.

So Castle takes this technology and must have hired construction workers to make a section of the city, perhaps about 20 acres or so, into a fantasy world. This world would have to have strict and secure access to only those who are legitimate customers. This is where Hitch's Amber Valletta falls in as Angie. She allows some fat loser to control her. He only controls her for perhaps a couple of hours a day and only in the confines of Society. In Society, it appears people are riding skateboards, kissing, engaging in lewd behavior, and satisfying people's desires. Angie would not remember anything when her "shift" is over with. The real society views these people as basically whores. It is a stigma to hire yourself out.

Castle also creates an area where gamers control inmates. I am not sure who the inmates are fighting, but this is not digital but an actual violent game. This is not an exhibition. Gamers must put up some serious dough to take over an inmate. This area is about 25 acres or so, but cameras being everywhere like in Running Man were not shown. Viewers can possibly see through the eyes of the convicts as they maim and attack each other. Kable is not necessarily the toughest fighter, he just happens to have an exceptional computer geek/yuppie controlling him. It could help that Kable was trained for combat and knows how to move and flow naturally in battle. Kable's controller is gaining in popularity and is famous since he has survived after 27 "session." Once 30 is reached, the convict is released. The government has authorized this event. This event is paying for all of the prisons in the USA. Not a bad deal.

The convicts volunteer to be taken over and to fight in the game. They are probably lifers in prison. The ratings of this event are spectacular.

Ludacris is a Humanz Brother. The Humanz have hacked into Castle's virtual empire and realize the threat he poses. Castle has the technology and is ready to deploy it. It is nanobytes that would invade our brain, end our free will, and would be linked to Castle's computer dominated brain. It is far fetched, about 30-40 years out, and this movie does take place in the future. How Castle controls this technology, it is not really revealed nor explored. Which, to me, is mandatory if the film wants to be taken seriously. It is not on the level of Running Man, Running Man did not push the evelope like Gamer does and is still longer in length. It is probably as good as Death Race though, but Death Race had a hotter star actress.

Castle is like a Saddam Hussein blended in with Steve Jobs. They-Humanz-suspect Kable has been framed. They somehow pinpoint he had a relationship with Angie as well.

There was a strange scene where it seemed a prison inmate jumped away or out of the prison while correction officers (CO's) gave chase. I am not sure what was the purpose or outcome of this.

Kable is slowly receiving information from a female correction officer. She is not really a CO, this is not really explained. Kable is in solitary confinement for some unkown reason. Kable is given the ability to speak to his gamer or controller in session 29. This computer wiz is shocked. But Kable would actually be a superior fighter if he had full autonomy. There is a slight delay in when the gamer makes a move and the ping which signals to the convict to move left, shoot, look up, etc. Not only does Kable prove he is an adept fighter in the final must see session, he escapes from the game. This shocks the public and infuriates Castle who was going to kill off Kable with
Terry Crews. Crews plays Hackman who is the powerful and physically counterweight to Kable. Kable fights off Crews and escapes.

Kable also enters the Society game and breaks out Angie. This is where this game becomes frightening. But perhaps it is still safer than being a present day homeless person or prostitute. Kable beats up a guy who is about have sexual intercourse with Angie. Hackman enters the picture and actually kills two people kissing. In this society game, these humans move like they are being controlled, like robots. It is bizaare but would possibly reduce the unemployment rate. I doubt Obama would care about that though or any future liberal politician/president.

Kable eventually beats up a bunch of guys, sort of like Keanu Reeves did in his Matrix movies. Caslte is a suck human being, not unlike The Joker. He has a devious plan which involves controlling millions of unsuspecting human beings. This is as mind boggling as Orwell's 1984, perhaps worse since North Korea is very similiar to Orwell's vivid must read and actually persists.

John Leguizamo plays a strange role as Freek in this movie. He is inside the prison as Kable. I know times are tough, Leguizamo has to take what he can obtain. It is a far cry from battling DiCaprio in Romeo and Juliet about 11 years ago or so.

Gamer ends up a mint condition basketball court at the end. Humanz, is a meritorious Internet group operating in a covert manner. They are eliminated by Castle's hit man in the end. I would not mind that happening in reality to Ludacris. Pretty sad if one's fictional character is more praiseworthy than one's actual personality.

The funny lipped but voluptious Kyra Sedgwick plays a media darling known as Gina Parker Smith. She is not cute in any manner but her cleavage keeps half the viewers on point in this movie. This not a film for children and this movie is designed for males. There are many attractive females in this film. Sedgwick's TV character is much more principled as her Gamer's character. Castle is not only taken down by Kable's muscle in this movie but the computer geeks, Smith, and perhaps a remnant of the Humanz group.

Is Butler trying to be the next Statham? Perhaps so. He has not made anything on the level of The Transporter yet but there is time. Hollywood seems to be willing to give him many chances with more to come.

This movie was not that long and many parts were taken from previous scenes. The aspect of Society is interesting though, that is new take for me. Much of the action was fake though, it was like a video game but real. To me, this undermines the action. This movie is not something to generate that much enthusiasm. Albeit the effort was genuine.

I allocate this movie two stars.**

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