Gerard Butler: ‘Gamer’ action makes ‘300’ look like ‘a walk in the park’

July 31, 2009 | 1:12 a.m.



After a brief jaunt through chick-flick land, Gerard Butler is going back to the bloody battlefields.

The actor who so memorably led the Spartans to a dinner date in hell in “300” is starring this September in “Gamer,” the latest movie from “Crank” codirectors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Butler said the thriller is so intense and violent, that it makes the saga of King Leonidas look like a summer stroll in sandals. 

“It makes ‘300’ look like a walk in the park, “ Butler said of the film that merges online gaming culture with a plot that might remind some fans of futuristic gladiator fantasy of The Running Man. “It exists in a world where gaming and technology have melded into one and morality has gone out the window.”

Butler, speaking during a press day for the R-rated romantic comedy “The Ugly Truth,” said “Gamer” is stylish in its ultra-violence.

“It feels,” he said, “like the coolest art-house action film.”

In the film, multi-player online entertainment has evolved so much so that gamers can now use real-life people as their avatars, called “slayers.” Those disposable avatars fight for their survival; all of them are chumps plucked from hard-luck lives, such as Butler’s character, Kable, a death-row inmate. 

“It’s completely accepted that people can be slaughtered in the game, and it will be shown globally,” Butler said. “You get to watch people who can go and shoot [the hell] out of each other. The country doesn’t go to war anymore. A lot of the grotesque titillation we get out of watching the war in Iraq or Afghanistan – that’ s not necessary anymore because we have ‘slayers’.”  

Butler shot the film back in early 2007, but it’s been delayed until this upcoming September because the directors went off to shoot “Crank 2.” There’s an impressive cast (Michael C. Hall of “Dexter“, John Leguizamo, Kyra Sedwick, Ludacris and Alison Lohman) but will the fanboys embrace with greater love than they did “Death Race,” a recent fight-or-die-in-the-future action film? One early take wasn’t positive; an early naysayer review on Ain’t It Cool News  weighed in that “Gamer” was “beyond boring and the action was completely unexciting.” Ouch.

— Rachel Abramowitz


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CREDITS: “Gamer” photo — Lionsgate. Ludacris –Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times.

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2 Responses to Gerard Butler: ‘Gamer’ action makes ‘300’ look like ‘a walk in the park’

  1. Loved Butler in 300 and RocknRolla; pretty sure The Ugly Truth is something the lady and I can agree upon once it's on the shelves at my local Blockbuster. I've seen the Gamer trailer twice now at the cinema and, sorry Gerard, it looks awful, mate. I'll wait for word-of-mouth because this doesn't look like a film I'll risk my money on without first hearing viewer feedback.

  2. Sweetesthope says:

    I too have seen the trailers for GAMER and they look great. And the concept is a winner for a movie. Take what happens now, take it to it's logical conclusion, equals GAMER.
    I have talked to several true gamers and teenage guys in general since seeing the trailers and they ALL said it would be AWESOME to play a real person in a game. That desire alone and the ability to see it played out should make this a popular movie but add some pretty rockin special effects and Butler's popularity and I tend to believe this will be another smash.

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