Over many, many years I have excitedly scurried into a cinema full of optimism with a general positive attitude. However, for every 100 satisfying films, there is one that either, by poor judgement, deceptive trailer, or mere ill fate, absolutely stinks. It's bad. Awful to the point of questioning how on earth such an idea was pitched and commissioned, let alone conceived. Some films I have witnessed, and I use that term due to their sheer horrific nature, make me question why I decided to see such a film in the first place. I'm proud to say that as bad as a film is, I have never left mid-experience.
Gamer (2009) is an example I was (un)lucky enough to see on my Birthday last September. Starring Gerard Butler (whom I still have fond, brutal memories of in 300 (2006)) and the talented Michael C. Hall, a cast, which gave me a glimmer of hope that it might be bearable. I was wrong.
It didn't help that I walked into the theatre a couple of minutes into the film, with the surreal and utterly confusing goings on seeming even more bizarre without a starting point to work from.
So, where to begin? The acting? Story? Characters? Setting? Pacing? Structure? - All truly appalling. Thinking about it now sends a cold, Gerard induced shiver down my spine because it baffles me how genuinely decent actors decide to partake in things that can surely never have seemed like a good idea. Notably Robert De Niro is one whom, after a frankly outstanding career, branched into comedy (why God, why?) and agreed to star in other rubbish, such as Godsend (2004), to name but one. Gerard hasn't got the decades of quality behind him, so can ill afford to make these mistakes so early.
Surprisingly it was memorable for a bizarre reason. Around a third of the way in the mish mash of colours, weird mise en scene and questionable character actions, made me worry whether my pick ‘n’ mix contained a hallucinogen. It was plain odd, without any relevance and seemed crazy for the sake of it.
The dialogue and 'plot' continued to nose dive into a pit of oblivion and found myself counting down the minutes till I could escape to do, well, absolutely anything else.
The film was epitomised by Hall's dance at the end, which reminded me of Tobey Maguire's embarrassing moves in Spider-Man 3 (2007).
The point I'm making is don't ever watch this. If you are compelled for a bit of Gerard action, then watch 300. You get to see him slaughtering men whilst sporting a magnificent beard.
Sources: Internet Movie DataBase
Photo: Gamer (2009)