Not a bad little flick.  It’s pretty derivative.  It borrows from movies like Death Race, but has a slightly better explanation of the technology behind it.  As always with these “Future gone awry” movies, there is a resistance fighting the good fight, broadcasting from a secret location and a very bad man, played by Dexter, out to take over the world.

The history of the game inside the movie is probably the most unique thing about it.  It’s kind of like the Sims gone awry.  At first, players only controlled other people to do Sims like activity (have sex, interact, etc.)  But then the ante got upped and they created a killing version where players get to move around death row inmates and kill each other.  Ultimately, the resolution is not as satisfying as Gerard Butler’s life has been destroyed for seemingly little reason.  Also the same question with every movie like this, why doesn’t the bad guy just have Gerard Butler shot if he has that much money and power?

The story is pretty by the numbers, but also examines the lifestyle of gamers in the subplot. The gaming “superstar” that controls Butler is forced to confront the fact that he’s a rich little geek that is nothing without his star pawn.  There’s also a second gamer that will remind you of the episode of South Park where the boys play an online game waaay too long.  Although the movie doesn’t really examine gamer lifestyle in much depth, it did make this version of Running Man slightly more interesting.  (And when I say slightly, I mean like fifteen more seconds.)

This is a decent popcorn movie if you don’t think too hard.  It won’t insult your intelligence much, but you’re not going to be blown away by it.  Entertaining, but not very daring.  Watchable, but not great.  I give Gamer 5 keggers out of 10.