One part Alien, one part Event Horizon and one part Resident Evil- Universal Pictures’ Doom has stolen enough from others movies to get you through the hour and thirty minutes, only it left out the one thing that would have made it something fresh… the Gates of Hell.
Uni’s Doom is an adaptation of the popular video game Doom III, only it changes the third act of the story completely. A distress call from the Olduvai research station on Mars forces a Special Ops team to investigate. What they find are creatures lurking in the darkness, killing off the survivors one by one. Sarge (The Rock) is the superior and appears to be the lead in the film, only the story really focuses on Reaper (Karl Urbane) and his twin sister Dr. Grimm (Rosamund Pike).
The movie takes a major turn for the worse when it sways from the video game’s original storyline. What are the creatures you ask? Well they certainly aren’t from Hell, I can tell you that right now- they’re genetically mutated humans with an extra chromosome. They kill, and then the dead come back to life- yup, zombies once again (sigh). What pisses me off beyond belief is that throughout the film they kept the integrity of the game in the plot, only to change the outcome dramatically. They tease us over and over about this archeological dig on Mars, and lead us to believe they found ‘something’, only we see nothing of the dig but remains of a genetically perfect human creature that once lived on Mars centuries ago. In the game however, in the catacombs of Mars the entrance to Hell is buried and has been unlocked by scientists. In the game these creatures ARE demons from, in the movie they’re nothing more than zombies… in space (does space ever work for a horror film?).
Speaking of pointless direction and fractured storylines, Dave Callaham and Wesley Strick tease us with some early flashbacks of Reaper and Dr. Grimm. Something happened to their father, but we don’t know what… and we never do. These flashbacks and conversations are pointless as there are no pay-offs or explanations whatsoever. And even better Sarge comes off as a perfectly normal ‘good guy’, until the end of course. Instead of planting the seeds to prepare for a heel turn, Sarge just all of a sudden takes his job way too seriously. I guess his use of the word “fuck” (used at least 10 times aimlessly) was their way of showing that he’s a dick. How about “fuck” this movie? And another pointless addition was the religious character who carves a cross into his arm for sinning- but that’s another story for another day…
Buuuuuut, as much as the pacing and screenplay were pieces of dog shit, the movie is still quite entertaining and does carry some moments that will make your trip to the theater a worthy one. As you all know there’s a special homage to the game with a extra cool FPS sequence (first person). Other homage’s are intermingled such as the BFG, having trouble getting into weapon storage areas, and best of all a scene shot eerily similar to the online multiplayer version of the game! Getting back to the FPS sequence, let’s just say it was one of the coolest scenes in a movie that I’ve seen in quite sometime. Uwe Boll take note, there are ways to bring a video game to life- you just will never do it. I can’t explain to you how cool the scene was, it’s just something you’ll have to experience for yourself.
Another positive thing about the film is that it’s quite gory. There are arms being ripped off, decapitations, zombies being split in two and much, much more. And I hate to admit it, but I love The Rock, he’s getting better and better with every movie he makes (thank god he didn’t do ‘the people’s eye’ in this one).
One last thing I’d like to bitch about, the score. Whoever chose this ‘80s rock ‘chase’ music to play during attack sequences should never work in Hollywood again. The film lacked suspense and dread specifically because of the score. Imagine walking down dark hallways with Metallica blaring, it’s more adrenaline pumping than nerve rattling. Idiots.
If Doom wasn’t filled with gore or that incredible FPS shot, I’d say pass on this movie and rent one of the three flicks it ripped off. There’s no hell, and the movie drags like there’s no tomorrow. Go grab yourself a Red Bull or two before heading into the film, you should make sure you don’t accidentally sleep through the FPS sequence because that’s the only life at this lame party. This movie was ‘Doomed” from the beginning. I know, I’m not funny…