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Movie Review : Doom

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Why did I bother? Why do I ever bother? I keep hoping to the celestial beings that maybe, just maybe one day we might get a good movie out of a video game. Most video games play out better than most movies in my humble opinion. They carry you into the story much more efficaciously than most movies can. But naïve moi keeps hoping that a good one could ever be made into an equally good movie. Then there’s the Rock factor. I love The Rock. He’s a force of nature. He made the WWE viewable with his 20- to sometimes 30-minute stand-up routines in the middle of the ring. His movies have been mostly your average action fare but with him in it, made it all much more entertaining.

We are all doomed. This movie has so much fromage in it, it makes a cheese factory smell like a bed of roses. Is it even funny? Nope. Scary? Nah hah. Action packed? Yeah and not so much. Cool looking monsters? Yeah, well maybe… if it weren’t so dark we might get a good look at them.

The story is so simplistic, but then it’s based on an FPS game, where there’s only one rule, shoot anything that moves. All hell breaks loose on a Mars research lab that looks like borrowed miniatures from Total Recall. The RRTS (I believe is what it was called, but I so don’t care to look it up) is called in to the rescue. Bad goes to worse before you can say “beam me up.”

I’ve been a hardcore fan of FPS (First Person Shooters) since Quake with the killer NIN soundtrack and special sound effects, Quake II and even Quake III Arena and lets not forget the godlike shooter of all shooters, Unreal Tournament. I played hard, founded a clan, helped found a huge league. I’m into it, well was would be a better word. I’m retired from online gaming. So I was kinda hoping Doom the Movie wouldn’t suck but, boy did it ever suck. How bad did it suck? Ever seen the Quantum Singularity Canon that creates a big black hole and sucks all the other players into it giving you mucho fraggs? It sucked more than that.

So here is the good, the bad and the ugly.

THE GOOD

  • The Rock. Dude it’s THE ROCK. No one can say “What the fuck…” with more conviction and stamina. He’s a presence on the screen. Does it make a good movie? No. Vin Diesels mere presence on the screen in The Chronicles of Riddick was only qualifiable as uber-coolness, yet the movie was rotten to the core. Same here, even The Rock can’t save this fiasco.
  • The luscious doe-eyed uber-sexy Rosamund Pike (a.k.a. Miranda Frost from Die Another Day) in her perfect nipply drool inducing sweater running around screaming her head off. She definitely has the woof-woof factor going for her.
  • Reaper’s perfect make-up job to make him look like the damage meter face in the heads up display of the game
  • The research facility boss’s name is Dr. Carmack. A very good homage to ID games founder and Doom creator, John Carmack
  • The black guys weren’t token funny black guys and weren’t the first to die… that’s original
  • Soundtrack was just like the in-game soundtrack.
THE BAD
  • The BFG. Yeah the Big Fucking Gun sucked too. Because if you’re going to have the BFG you have to use it on a big crowd of bad guys. Not on a wall. The whole fun of the BFG is popping everyone in one big fucking shot and screaming “fuck yeah.”
  • The back story between Dr. Samantha Grimm and her brother Reaper (get it, Grimm Reaper? Ha! Ha! Hi! Hi! Yeah whatever) which obviously haunts Reaper to no end yet they explore it as a tertiary element. Bottom line, mom and dad died on the base years before.
  • Leaving some half-of-a-man in a wheelchair company PR dude to guard the most important check point, the portal to earth. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Dark lighting and color filters to hide bad special effects and unfinished sets.
THE UGLY
  • The whole RRTS team. If you need an elite squad for insane rescue ops, you need a band of brothers, not escaped sex offenders and murderers. Which is what this team is made of. One perv talking about getting out on leave and getting himself 3 she-males. One shell-shocked marine (Reaper) one insane obey-orders or die Sarge. The god-fearing man who cuts himself every time he sins. They lacked cohesiveness so harshly that it’s a wonder they got on the chopper without killing themselves.
  • The battle scenes, which is what you came to see this movie for, are certainly not Oscar-caliber performances. Everything is so dark. To give you the impression of intensity, they do camera shakes and blurry scuffs. Whoopee!
  • Oh and then Reaper gets adrenalised by his sister, he goes into first person perspective for a good while. I swear it is the most ugly looking piece of film I’ve seen in a long time. Hollywood, should understand that what works for games, doesn’t always translate (rarely does) into good cinematography. The game developers give that bouncing effect because they lack the rendering capabilities to make it better. At least no one was jumping and grunting around to avoid incoming projectiles.
  • The Boss Fight. The make-or-break moment of any action based game or movie. It’s a break for this movie. They decided to go mano a mano, or mutanto a mutanto. Good old fashioned fist fights with some wire-jumps between two mutants… woohoo… NOT! Alien Queen vs. Ripley, that’s a boss fight. Neo vs. a hundred Smiths, now that’s a boss fight. Sarge and Reaper going at it, is lame. Boss fights should be bigger than life. But a crumbled arena and guys strong-arming it is simply unsatisfactory.
  • The closing credits are a first person perspective run through the hallways with a gun shooting at the credits. It looks horrible. They should have used the Doom 3 gaming engine to render it and it would have proven more interesting to watch.
In conclusion, this movie could have been made 20 years ago and not look worse than it did. This movie needed Verhoven. If you are gonna go for kitsch, get someone who can make you swallow it. If you want gut churning violence, get someone who can pull it off. Verhoven was the man for this type of movie.

Do not under any circumstance see this movie no matter how much a fan you are of either DOOM or The Rock. Don’t waste your money on this trite piece of crap. Don’t even rent it when it comes out on DVD. Wait until it shows up on ShowcaseAction or some other channel.

A doomed 0 outta 5

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About David Desjardins

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    Very well written review but not persuasive enough to keep me from making my own mistake. I, like you, am a FPS fan and need to see this flick for myself.

    At least I won’t be able to say that you didn’t warn me. :-)

    I keep telling myself that with more and more bad reviews, my expectation level will go down enough that I can enjoy the movie a whole lot. Well, at least a little.

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Ah man go for it. Just wasted money IMHO. I had very bad reviews keeping me from going, but last night I just felt like not going home after work, so I stopped by the theatre for time well wasted and instead just got some time wasted. But it gave me the opportunity to purchase Batman Begins at the local DVD store =)

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Is something wrong with the tabling ? My article overshoots the white backgrounded cell?

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    Fixed it. You had a div tag after the word “GOOD”

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Heh, that’ll teach me to double check my code. =)

  • http://www.dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    I mostly went because I took my son and a friend, both gamers. I guess they liked it ok –
    and heck it was a night out and some stale popcorn for me, but still I must say – it was pretty bad. And I can take bad. I can take tons. When it comes to art, I usually say..’well they could do better than me’. In this case. I’m really not so sure.

    but The Rock, well I think he’s capable enough. Too bad he had wasn’t given anything to work with.

    The BFG couldnt save him from this.

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Yup and if you can’t get out of a jamm with a BFG… you shouldn’t play