From the creators of Crank comes another high-concept action movie, this time starring Gerard Butler as a death row convict being used as a character in a real life video game. If that premise sounds amazing, prepare to be woefully disappointed.
Gamer had boundless potential. The concept could have resulted in the perfect blend of 80s action flicks and postmodern psychological thrillers, but instead it bleeds into a kind of amorphous blob of incoherent action sequences and pseudo-dystopia, with neither aspect really getting its due.
The movie's worst sin, however, is wasting an opportunity to utilize Michael C. Hall - still in the prime of Dexter-dom - as the charismatic villain. Hall can absorb all the menace in the room and still come out the other end charming as hell, but the script didn't allow for that talent to find much breathing room.
Except in a dance routine/group battle that comes completely out of left field. Set to Sammy Davis Jr.'s snap-heavy rendition of "I've Got You Under My Skin", a silhouetted Hall introduces himself and his horde of underlings with exaggerated pantomimes and some appropriately old-timey dance moves. The fight scene that follows is the best in the movie by a mile.
More wonderfully strange moments like this could have saved Gamer from becoming the sluggish shoot-em-up it became.