Butler’s return to action films disappoints

is a potentially powerful action thriller about the year 2034 where innovative mind-altering technology gives people complete control of other human beings in multi-player online games. The film opened in theatres on Labor Day weekend with much anticipation and a powerful cast. Despite Gerard Butler’s surprising departure from action movies after the phenomena (2006) and into a series of romantic drama/comedy such as (2007) and (2009), this film could have marked Butler’s official comeback to the glory of gun slinging, blood spewing, physical domination. Sadly to say however, it’ll have to wait for the next time.

Though the original trailer for Gamer was both captivating and alluring to fans of action, controversy, sci-fi or simply Gerard Butler alike, the actual film, with its weak story and seizure inducing display, was disappointingly nothing more than a ninety minutes version of the trailer.The powerful cast of Butler, Ludacris, Michael C. Hall ( and ) and Kyra Sedgwick () cannot save the weak script flooded with shallow, one-dimensional characters that lack any profound background or real characteristics. The antagonist was simple minded and surprisingly overthrown with ease for an evil genius. All the characters were disposable as they appeared and disappeared without a sufficient introduction or conclusion. It is almost as if the film is forcing the audience to just accept everything that is happening onscreen while leaving many questions unanswered, resulting in a lack of smooth transitions.

Produced by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, directors of the series, also shared a lot of its over-the-top elements. From nudity to the rough language to the violence, the use of these elements is random, completely out of sync with the general flow of the film, and purely unnecessary in conveying the plot. Although most action thrillers are known for that, Gamer just over did it so ostentatiously. That is quite something to say about a genre that is founded upon sexual appeal and mayhem. The end result is something that can only be enjoyed by those seeking nothing more but random clips of blood and perversion that are in no way consistent or intellectually stimulating. Spending ten dollars, however, to see that in a movie theatre is a waste of money.

’s visual display is both confusing and infuriating. Whether it is the sudden bursts on the battlefield or the flurries of a rave scene, the movie looked like a drunken cameraman filmed it. Most of the battle scenes are a blur until the point where it slows down to emphasize the head of someone that is about to be blown up. Audiences have no idea or reference to what is going on or where the protagonist is. Their only indulgence is to wait for the occasional focused-in moments in the film. Even the moments that are comprehensible enough were not visually appealing in the slightest. The choice of the grim and depressing colors, while symbolically expressing the loss of humanity and individualism in the dark future, makes it even worse.

The concepts that built upon had so much potential and that was the reason for its disappointment to hurt so badly when it failed. From the controversy of human freedom to a relevant statement about the danger of modern gaming and technology to violence and hedonism, the premise was a potentially limitless goldmine for plot ideas. However, the film successfully ignored all these opportunities and went straight down the most basic storyline while applying the occasional violence along the way. It had no major turning points in the plot and the ending was easily predictable. On top of that, many things in the movie go unexplained and the plotholes are just waiting to be discovered.

Overall, was a huge disappointment that only stands a chance for a specific type of action lovers that can overlook the terrible story and the confusing camera views and focus mainly on the chaos of explosions and blood. Otherwise, the unsophisticated and terribly misleading film proved to be a waste of all the great resources that could have made it so much better.