The concept is interesting and there is a clear attempt at a different stylistic approach for the narrative but I believe it all felt short: despite the extraordinary action scenes, the film was a bit messy and the concept could have been better explored. Hall and Butler's characters lacked some depth and their backstories were not that clear.
Watching Gamer and The Dark Knight back-to-back today really made me appreciate just how dynamic Neveldine/Taylor's work is. Nolan's staid, faux-Mann act, while occasionally exciting, on the whole pales in comparison with the formally daring and experimental kineticism on display here.
So much going on here. A love letter to exploitation in film while also contributing to the genre itself. Walks the line between parody/seriously statement and its just fun, fun, fun. Made me seek out Crank 2 (which was slightly lacking). GAMER is Neveldine/Taylor's finest film for me. Word.
Very underrated. There was something kind of powerful and incredibly timely about the juxtaposition of blissful consumer culture with the horrific violence the death-row prisoners are forced to endure, particularly when Logan Lerman's character is shown images of the consequences of his gaming.
GAMER is full of brilliant concepts and ideas that get bogged down in Nevaldine/Taylor's visual pizzazz. Their stylish approach serves the material in the CRANK films, here it more often than not causes their ideas to get lost in the noise. The idea behind the SOCIETY game was more interesting to me than the SLAYERS game that was central to the story, to me, SOCIETY has a more interesting movie in there somewhere.
Watching this on Blu-Ray made a big difference for it remaining visually coherent. Dunno if that's a praise or a negative critique.... I thought this movie didn't dig into its ideas about control over others, and the potential for economic windfalls from that. But it presented those ideas in a way where I could fill in my own blanks and think about those concepts seriously, and not every "action movie" can say that.