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File:Gamer-dvd-cover-1 6254.jpg

Gamer is a 2009 movie starring Gerard Butler. He plays John "Kable" Tillman, a death row inmate, forced to battle other prisoners in an online game called Slayers, and as his every move is controlled by a young gamer's remote device. If they survive 30 matches, they get a full pardon. To the players, Kable and the other inmates are just simulated characters. But, to a resistance group that opposes the game's now-billionaire inventor, Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall), Kable, who has just survived his record-setting 27th match, is a critical piece of their plan to end the sinister inventor's form of high-tech slavery.


This movie contains examples of:

  • Ax Crazy: Hackman.
  • Badass: Kable. Not only did he survive for so long in what is essentially Counter-Strike with real people, he's also capable of killing a dozen Mooks in close combat with his bare hands.
    • Also, Hackman. It's said that he killed nine dozen people, and he's one of the few people that survive an encounter with Kable.
  • Batman Gambit: Castle first tries to sell his Mind Control Nanites to the military, it folds, then turns it into 2 games, with plans to disperse it aerially to Take Over the World. Honestly, if he had skipped right to that last step (and we don't know if he didn't) all it would take is one hacker to turn us ALL into zombies.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Well, not really, since Kable isn't a computer, but it's acknowledged in the film that he takes control during key moments during the games, giving him a better chance of surviving.
  • Condemned Contestant
  • Crapsack World: People seem to have absolutely no regard for human life, it makes some sense in Slayers but the same attitude is shown in Societies.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: The final confrontation between Kable and Hackman. Mostly because Castle was in control of Hackman.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The movie glorifies and fetishizes that which it rails against. The ostensible message may be that violent media takes away our basic humanity, but it spends an uncomfortable amount of time making violence look cool.
  • Engineered Public Confession: The cause of Castle's downfall, right before Kable kills him. A surprising example; considering how tech-savvy Castle is he really should have seen this coming.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Apparently, Castle started inventing virtual worlds because he ran out of real-world scenery to chew.
  • Foreshadowing: "Whatever I think they'll do".
  • Genius Bruiser: Kable.
  • GIRL: Kable's wife, a character in Societies, is being controlled by Gorge, a topless and terribly obese home dweller.
  • Gorn: The game Slayers, since it involves televised gun battles, has highly explicit violence. This is gorn for the audience within the movie, and may be gorn for the real world audience, too (YMMV).
  • Halfway Plot Switch: Yeah, the GAME part of Gamer gets dropped early on. Never Trust a Trailer.
  • Heroic Willpower
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Castle, after Kable pulls a sort of Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Now in handy online form!
  • Just Hit Him: Subverted; when Kable slams a mook headfirst into the floor, there's a nasty crunching sound and it's pretty clear he ain't getting up from that one.
  • Knuckle-Cracking: Well, neck-cracking, but Hackman flexes his neck for the same effect.
  • Made of Iron: Hackman, who's so tough that getting rammed into a concrete wall while hanging from a speeding truck only mildly inconveniences him, and later on, Kable has to break his neck twice to actually kill him.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Hackman and Rick Rape.
  • Neck Snap:
    • Kable finally disposes of Hackman this way. The guy is so ungodly tough however, that Kable has to do it twice before he's actually dead.
    • Hackman casually kills a member of Society in this manner.
  • New Media Are Evil: Very evil.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Keith David as federal agent...Keith.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: This is inverted at the end. Castle has Kable under his control, when Kable tells Castle to think of Kable stabbing him. Castle does just that, unconsciously, and gets himself killed. It's The Game used for murder.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Castle is a type C all the way.
  • Puzzle Boss: Castle. He's controlling Kable's implant, so Kable can't do anything Castle doesn't think. Kable tells Castle to imagine Kable stabbing him, which he does unconsciously, and allows Kable to kill him.
  • Scary Black Man: Hackman.
  • Smug Snake: Castle. Later, he also crosses the line into complete monsterdom
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Way, way, waaaaaay over on the Cynical end. People are depicted as being generally depraved, sadistic, amoral monsters with no regard for each others' lives who will willingly sacrifice actual, real people by the thousands for entertainment. (Those people are almost all volunteers, but still.)
  • There Are No Girls on the Internet: Kable's wife is being controlled by a sweaty, Fat Bastard and its implied many of the other women in "Society" are too.
    • However, one scene shows a male character who Nika is flirting with is controlled by a woman.
  • This Loser Is You: One wonders why someone would make a film about video games if their idea of video gamers was a massively obese pervert...
    • To be fair, the obese guy is just a pervert, not a gamer. Society is built as an outlet for people like him. The actual gamer is the lean kid who treats the lives of the people he's killing as meaningless, having been desensitized to all the violence.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailer makes it seem like the entire movie was about the online game and nothing else.
  • Troll/GIFT: A good chunk of the characters are straight-up trolls, and the GIFT is in full, terrifying force here.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Somehow, Castle has managed to get almost everyone to overlook the fact that they're playing deathmatches and Second Life with real people, and is said to have exceeded Bill Gates' wealth.
    • Note that he pulled the entire US Prison system back from the verge of bankruptcy, revitalized the economy and everybody involved, convict or otherwise, signed up voluntarily.
    • Given some of the reactions from the Slayers 'volunteers' and the whole backstory where Kable was forced to commit/framed for murder while being used as a guinea pig for the nanites, it's fairly safe to say that the volunteer thing isn't always true.
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