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05 Sep 2009

Welcome to Sodom and Gomorrah 2.0. There’s a reason why “Gamer” wasn’t screened for critics before opening. It’s ugly.

A Who’s Who of B- and C-list actors chew the scenery with the nefarious creations of Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall, “Dexter”), a developer of massively multiplayer online role-playing games.

The journey is bloody, raunchy and amusing – sometimes purposely, sometimes not. It won’t win an Academy Award, but it has popcorn potential.

Castle has brought MMORPGs to the next level. Real people substitute for digital avatars, and the sordid fantasies of gamers are lived out in the flesh.

A pasty-faced 17-year-old controls Kable (Gerard Butler, “The Ugly Truth”), the lead in Castle’s gruesome best-selling creation, “Slayer.”

Kable is among a group of death-row convicts fitted with mind control software. To win their freedom from prison they must survive 30 battles, all played out for hungry pay-per-view audiences.

But the convicts’ fates are in the hands of thrill-seeking couch potatoes unaware of the true consequences of the game. There’s plenty of action in “Gamer,” but not much acting. Butler wears a perma-frown as the film’s brooding hero. Butler might be King Leonidas (“300”), but in this he’s just a grumpy bore.

The peripheral characters played by Alison Lohman (“Drag Me To Hell”), Chris “Ludacris” Bridges (“RocknRolla”), John Leguizamo (“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”), Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”), and Milo Ventimiglia (“Heroes”) are a blur and hobble the film’s intensity.

“Gamer” is an updated version of the 2007 clunker “The Condmened.” Hall and Butler are better than this.

Source: Boston Herald

by Aniek | Category: Gamer,Press Alerts