Sunday, September 12, 2010


Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
2009. Rated R, 95 minutes.
Gerard Butler
Logan Lerman
Michael C. Hall
Amber Valetta
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges
Terry Crews
Kyra Sedgwick

Kable (Butler) is a death row inmate but has achieved worldwide fame as a character in a real live first-person shooter. You see, in this version of the future, gaming has truly gone next level. Many people pay to control others, or get paid to be controlled, in video games using real people as characters in a game that looks like “The Sims”, only with actual human beings.

As far as that shooting game goes, only death row inmates are used for that and that is where Kable comes in. He has survived longer than anyone else. If he survives one more battle, he will earn his freedom from both the game and prison. However, it’s not entirely up to him. During gameplay, he is controlled by Simon (Lerman), who has become a superstar in his own right due to his gaming prowess.

The premise is intriguing as all get-out. It is especially so for those of us who remember the genesis of home video-gaming and wonder just how far it can go. We get a movie that’s entertaining in the way only non-stop remorseless and graphic violence can be. It’s also visually stimulating because it mixes that violence with collages of odd behavior and nude or scantily clad bodies stitched together by quick cuts. Unfortunately, the story never mines the potential depths of its subject, preferring instead to stick with the tried and true approach of having a megalomaniacal villain try to take over the world. The effect is we can have fun watching it, but may have trouble remembering anything about it once we hit the “open” button on our DVD player. Well, memories of the several dance moments may linger for a bit, but that’s not a good thing.

The Opposite View: Vadim Rizov, LA Weekly

What the Internet Says: 5.7/10 on (9/11/10), 30% on, 27/100 on

MY SCORE: 5.5/10

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