Wednesday, December 5

Doom (film) Review

I watched on: Netflix
The price I paid: £0
Notes: N/A

I think when talking about this film an important question to ask is one of the most simple. Is it good? The short answer is no. The longer answer is, no, but that doesn’t stop it being enjoyable. As far as terrible B-movies go you can get far worse than this.

That’s not to say it’s blameless because it’s not. It makes more than a few mistakes when looking at the Doom licence. The biggest of these is trying to give a personality to the Doom marine. This demon slaughtering man purposely has little personality outside of wanting to kill every demon he sets his eyes on in the games. It’s this single-minded obsession that makes him so fearful among the inhabitants of Hell. This is sadly lost in the film as instead he is turned into a generic soldier known as Reaper trying to protect his sister and team members.

As well as completely misunderstanding the single-minded fury that is the Doom guy this film also manages to miss the point of the backstory. In the games, the UAC organisation open a portal to hell in order to draw energy. This obversely goes wrong as it turns out that Hell is a pretty dangerous place. During the original Doom, you play as a marine who fights his way through the Mars base and into Hell. The story gets vague here but what we do know is that the Doom Slayer is feared among the hoards of Hell. The film instead has scientists on Mars discover the remains of people that lived on the planet millions of years ago. These people used gene therapy to turn themselves into superhumans. Anyone infected with this rediscovered formula turns into a monster if they’re evil and superhumans if they’re good. This removes Hell, Demons and everything like that. Leaving the film feeling all the blander. Amazing designs like the giant floating ball of teeth and death that is the Cacodemon from the games are gone. Instead, we’re left with mutated humans and nothing else. Seeing as Hell is no more there’s plenty of really awkward dialogue trying to tie the Mars base to hell. This is normally someone calling the base hell or an overly religious marine calling the monsters demons. Altogether the plot is pretty garbage but that’s not where the fun of this film is.

The Doom film is great in just how corny it is. It never feels like it’s trying to be anything more than a stupid low-budget sci-fi flick with lots of hammy acting. Nearly every character is an easily understandable clich√© but with enough one-liners to keep you engaged. Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson does an amazing job at playing the muscle-bound Sargent. Along with Karl Urban as our lead character, Reaper. Both the Sargent and Reaper play off each other really well with themes of good and evil. While not subtle I do like the way even from the start we’re told which one is good and which one is not. This starts as Reaper says the line; 'I guess you gotta face your demon some time’ as the camera cuts to Sarge bathed in a red light. From here it only gets more and more obvious until the showdown between the two at the end.

Doom is a very flawed film that fails to understand it’s source material but I still find myself enjoying its brand of cheesy sci-fi. It’s pretty cheap and nasty as far as films go but an amazing cast of actors that deliver the perfect amount of hammy acting keep it feeling fun. It’s definitely the film equivalent of fast food but it’s pretty good fast food. A perfect so bad it’s good flick to watch with friends!

Recommendation Rating: 6 out of 10.

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