Gamer Film Review

Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler

This project has undergone several name changes since the films conception.

The film project started out as Game, then Citizen Game and now, finally Gamer the movie.

This movie is set in the not so distant future.

The film director depicts an immoral, brutal and savage future where human violence and death is financed, glorified and celebrated by popular culture and society on reality TV. Human violence and savagery is accepted as a form of unquestionable entertainment.

Prisoners who are on death row are given the opportunity to earn their freedom by surrendering their bodies and becoming human avatars (pawns) in a reality online multi-player shooting game called ‘Slayers’.

Gamers control the human avatars through advanced mind control technology.

The game Slayers is similar to most online first person shooting games such as Halo 3 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. However the stakes are significantly higher because real humans are used to execute the violent actions controlled by the gamers.

In the battle field, the prisoners must kill or be killed. Their fate lies in the hands of their gamers. Freedom is granted for prisoners who can stay alive after 30 sessions of combat. This is not an easy task because no one has ever achieved this goal.

Article continued below Gamer DVD advertising units…

In this movie, Gerard Butler plays a prisoner called Kable who is forced to play the role of a human avatar in Slayers. He is controlled by a 17 year old teenage gamer called Simon (Logan Lerman from My one and only) who beats all odds by winning consecutive games one after the other.

Kable is determined to earn his freedom, reclaim is life and family and bring an end to this destructive technology that have claimed valuable human lives.

This action movie explores the unquestioning evolution of technology and its impact on society in terms of values and beliefs. The film also explores the complex nature of human emotions & behaviour when presented with dilemmas that threaten our survival.

The moral of the story is to recognise the destructive potential of technology has on societal values and our sense of “civilisation”.

This story has the potential to become a reality if we fail to question and govern what it means to be “civilised”.

Humans have a history in using death and violence for vicarious pleasure in the past.

For example, prisoners and slaves under the Roman Empire were once forced to engage in gladiatorial combat for mass entertainment.

The key message we take from this movie is that history can repeat itself in a different context. It is important for us to learn from our past and guard ourselves from engaging in barbaric exploits.

The action movie portrays prisoners as complex individuals with a sense of humanity.

The story line is sympathetic towards the well-being of prisoners and convicts. The film has the power to influence and shift people’s attitudes about the people with a criminal past & rehabilitation.

The director does a reasonable job in building Gerard Butler’s character considering this is a fast paced action movie.

Gerard Butler is in top form in this movie. In a recent interview Gerard Butler revealed that he was aiming for a different physicality in contrast with his mythicaly cult warrior character in 300 as King Leonidas.

Kable’s muscular physicality reflects his strong, tough & macho sense of being. Gerard Butler loves the way his veins appear on his biceps. He achieved this by pumping constantly everyday.

Gerard Butler compared his filming experience for Gamer with 300 and noted that Gamer was more in the present because there were less blue-screens involved. He loved travelling to all these incredible film locations for the movie gamer and felt very connected with the scenes that were being shot.

Gerard Butler enjoyed being surrounded by stuntmen, weapons and pyrotechnics for the big action sequences. He felt alive getting involved with the action that was happening on set. For example, even though the weather was freezing on location in Albuquerque, Gerard Butler was constantly sprayed with freezing-cold water to make it look like he was drenched in sweat.

Gerard Butler performed multiple dangerous stunts for this movie. The action scenes involved a lot of military precision planning to minimize the risk of injury on set.

“You’d be doing some takes where there would be 15 to 20 explosions [that] were all around you, and you’d have to know where you were going or you were going to get blown up…I’ve got to say, in this movie, there were many times I was hit by flying debris from explosions or from squibs that would bang against your face or your head…You’d get little injuries, but you move on, it’s part of the adrenaline…I’m amazed no one was killed making this movie because it felt very dangerous, but you see that onscreen.”
[ Quote Gerard Butler interview 2009 ].

Gerard Butler received a number of injuries whilst filming Gamer:

“I was hit by flying debris. I fell down stairs,” he says. “One day, I fell through a car, connected some flesh with jagged metal for real and scraped up my entire back.”
[Quote from Gerard Butler interview 2009]

However, he accepts that the injuries come with the territory. He loves acting. It is his passion and he will have the scars to prove it:

“By the time I hit 40, I will point out all my scars and say to friends, ‘This is the one from ‘Gamer.’… This is from ‘300.’ … For ‘Reign of Fire,’ I did a fire scene and coated my body with gel. I got second-degree burns on the back of my neck.”
[Quote from Gerard Butler interview 2009]

Although Gamer the movie is one of the top action movies by Gerard Butler this year, it is not as good as the movie 300 or Phantom of the Opera. Having said that, epic movies like 300 and Phantom of the Opera do not appear on the film market very often. The movie is worth watching because of Gerard Butlers performance in this movie, the interesting film concept, special visual and sound effects.

In addition, Lakeshore Entertainment & Lionsgate made the marketing mistake of exposing to much film footage to promote this movie. Subsequently, some movie goers were disappointed to discover they had already seen a large proportion of the movie prior to going to the movie theatre (cinema).

Having said this, the film as a whole is worth watching especially if you are a online gaming fan and Gerard Butler fan.


  • The movie title Citizen Game may have been ditched because the website owner publically demanding $49,500 for the sale of the website:
  • Gerard Butler was injured on the film set (see interview above)
  • The international movie rights is managed by Lakeshore Entertainment in the UK instead of Lionsgate.
  • Gamer the movie was originally scheduled for release 4th September 2009 in the UK. This was then postponed to the 18th September 2009 last minute by Lakeshore Entertainment. This left Gerard Butler fans confused and disappointed with the delay.
  • Gerard Butler received various injuries whilst performing stunts on the film set of Gamer

Gamer the movie film release dates:

  • Gamer the movie film release date in the USA: 4th September 2009
  • Gamer the movie film release date in the UK: 18th September 2009

Gamer DVD and blu ray release date:

  • UK: 18 January 2010
  • USA: 19 January 2010

Gamer the movie film cast:
Gerard Butler, Milo Ventimiglia (who appears in this movie for only a few seconds), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Ludacris, Amber Valletta (Transporter 2), Alison Lohman, John Leguizama (Righteous Kill, Assualt on Precinct 13), Efren Ramirez, Terry Crews, Kyra Sedwick (The Closer), Zoe Bell

Gamer Film location: Albuquerque

Gamer Blu ray special features (extras):

  • i-con mode (expanded visual commentary/making-of pods accessible throughout the film)
  • Audio commentary with the filmmakers, Gerard Butler interview and commentary from cast members
  • Inside the game making of documentary
  • First person shooter: the evolution of read, featurette
  • Theatrical trailer

Gamer dvd special features (extras):

  • Audio commentary with the filmmakers, Gerard Butler interview and commentary from cast members
  • Inside the game making of documentary
  • First person shooter: the evolution of read featurette
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Widescreen version
  • 5.1 dolby digital ex audio
  • English and spanish titles

Gamer fast facts:

Certificate: 18 years and over

Year: 2009

Duration 1 hour and 35 minutes (approx)

Click here to watch Gerard Butler movies for free.

Gamer Film Trailer:

[hdwplayer id=13]

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