My Rating: 3 stars
Sometimes I’m in the mood for this kind of ridiculous, gratuitous, action flick. Well, maybe it’s a little more often than “sometimes.” It seems liked I’ve needed a little more escapism than usual these days. And, this movie is definitely the kind of silly, action-packed frolic that’ll put you in a better mood (as long as you don’t pay too much attention to the glaring plot holes). The story is set in the future. There is a new brain-control technology that allows wealthy video game players to control real people who are being paid to be flesh and blood characters. Regular people can be a part of “Society” a hyper-sexual, fantasy-fulfillment nightmare. And, convicted criminals can volunteer to participate in “Slayers,” a combat-based game. It’s an all-out brawl, and the consequences are real. If these convicts survive enough rounds, they can win their freedom. But, that’s not very likely. Once you’re dead, you’re dead. And, characters inside the game aren’t making their own decisions. They’re entirely dependent on whatever little kid happens to have paid enough money to control them for the round.
And, that’s exactly where we find our star. Gerard Butler plays Kable, an incarcerated murderer. He’s the first fighter to even come close to winning enough games to be set free. But, it’s not really up to him. He’s being controlled by Simon, a bratty teenager. Plus, he suspects that the people who run the game aren’t too excited to see their biggest ratings generator leave while he’s at the top of his game. So, Kable’s got to take matters into his own hands. He has to find a way to make sure that when he wins the game, he goes free. And, then he needs to rescue his lovely wife from the horror show that is “Society,” where she’s been working to make ends meet. It sounds intense, but I think the script was written with a sense of humor. It’s dark humor, but it’s there.
The movie is fast, loud, rude, and very sexually charged. It’s good, trashy fun for when you aren’t in the mood for anything too serious. The tone is dark, but not enough to ruin your mood. The world-building may or may not need a little work. Same with the plot. But, I’ve always been inclined to like things more than hate them. So, as long as you’re willing to ignore a little nonsense, this movie is a really fun time.