Doom (15)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner30/11/2005

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Shlocky, brainless shoot-em-up fun that’s almost as much fun as playing the game it’s based on. Probably.

The Background
When it comes to movies based on video games, Doom doesn’t really have much in the way of competition. Super Mario Brothers, anyone? No? Then how about Street Fighter? Basically, its nearest rival is Resident Evil and Doom is pretty much on the same level. In fact, it’s practically the same film, only with The Rock instead of Milla Jovovich and genetic mutations instead of zombies.

The Story
After a nifty subversion of the Universal logo, Doom kicks off in the year 2046, two decades after the discovery of a portal between the Nevada desert and the planet Mars. The portal now leads directly into a genetics lab where something has gone horribly wrong, resulting in a pile of corpses.

Sarge (The Rock) seals off the portal back to Earth and takes his elite group of Marines in to kick some monster ass. He’s helped by pretty Dr Sam Grimm (Rosamund Pike), who also happens to be Urban’s sister. This sets up a back story that wouldn’t be out of place in Team America.

The Good
The moment you set eyes on the BFG (a very large gun to put it politely), it’s clear where Doom’s priorities lie. As such, it’s a decent tribute to the game itself. There are also several nods toward video games in general.

The script itself is fairly dull and could have used a bit more humour. The Rock is as watchable as ever but the biggest surprise is that Pike and Urban manage to transcend their thinly written roles and emerge as genuinely human characters. Although, that said, Pike is still forced to wear a tight-fitting top / no bra combo and run around in chilly corridors.

The Bad
The film isn’t especially scary and the suspense evaporates once we see the monsters, but there are some good moments and the BFG is a joy to behold – the sequence where the camera lovingly pans around it as Sarge checks it out is a classic of its kind. Similarly, the nano-walls are a brilliant idea that should immediately be incorporated into all future sci-fi flicks.

The Conclusion
In short, Doom could have been better but it could also have been a whole lot worse. As such, it’s an enjoyable, instantly forgettable shoot-em-up flick with a nice line in gore and a couple of decent twists. Worth seeing if you like that sort of thing.

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Content updated: 22/10/2017 09:03

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