I have a feeling deep in my gut that people are going to hate DOOMSDAY. I kind of understand why, although I disagree. Personally I found Neil Marshall’s follow-up to THE DESCENT a blast from the past. DOOMSDAY is one gigantic homage to classic ‘80s action films, from ALIENS to THE WARRIORS to ROAD WARRIOR.
“Doomsday,” written by Marshall, is set three decades after a lethal virus tore through a major country, leading to the country’s walling off. When the virus, known as the Reaper, resurfaces in another country, an elite group is dispatched to the infected country to find a cure. There, they end up shut off from the rest of the world and must battle through a landscape that has become a waking nightmare.
What works for the film is that it carries non-stop action and thrills. There are loads of sword fights, shootouts and car chases, and plenty of blood to go along with it. In addition, Marshall gives little nudges to classic films by going as far as to cast a baseball fury look-a-like (from THE WARRIORS) in the film, not to mention our leading lady is a female version of Snake Plissken. But the problem lies in the fact that it’s emulating the best action films of the ‘80s, but at no point it is BETTER THAN. If anything, DOOMSDAY is a really, really expensive fan made feature film. The pro is that it shows heart and promise; the con is that it’s completely generic. In addition to carrying a montage of moments from older action films, the plot of the film is really no different than LAND OF THE DEAD or 28 DAYS LATER.
But if you can completely ignore the fact that this is a ‘80s love fest, I think you’ll agree that what lies ahead is a damn good time. The set pieces are massive (there are castles!) and the action sequences are pretty well planned. Even the characters are pretty damn cool; just take a look at Craig Conway as Sol – f-cking creepy. I only wish Rhona Mitra’s character (Eden Sinclair) wasn’t so a one-dimension. She’s supposed to be a Ripley, but isn’t as lovable and at no point are we screaming for her to win. This just takes us right back to generic (and I hate taking in circles).
DOOMSDAY isn’t for everyone, it’s mainly for those of you who want to see some of your favorite 80s action scenes reshot – I guess you can say DOOMSDAY is a remake of about a dozen films from the ‘80s all meshed into one. If you can turn your brain off and just enjoy the action, you’ll find a special place in your heart for this film.