Director – Andrzej Bartkowiak
Cast – Dwayne Johnson(The Rock), Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, Razaaq Adoti, Richard Drake, Deobia Oparei, Brian Steele, Al Weaver, Ben Daniels, Dexter Fletcher, Yao Chin
Release Year – 2005
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Anyone who played the “Doom” video games many years back knows that these games, when played by yourself in an empty room, can be scary as hell. When word first got out that there would be a feature film adapted from the “Doom” franchise, I figured it would be a lot like the first “Resident Evil” adaptation which had good gore, some cheesy one liners, and lots of action. This film has exactly that, plus The Rock, something other video game adaptations have not had. Haha.
The story is as follows…in the year 2026 a portal to mars was found in a Nevada desert. Fast forward to present time (20 years later) and a laboratory has been built on Mars for various experiments. Unfortunately something goes utterly wrong, in which a distress signal is being sent to Earth from the mars base. The Rock, known as “Sarge” in this film, receives his orders to take his tactical response squad onto the mars laboratory, eliminate whatever is causing the problems, and retrieve whatever data possible. This seems like a simple mission, however the marine squad and a scientist sent with them to collect the data have no idea what is in store for them. Many covert and illegal experiments were going on at the base, experiments that went horribly, horribly wrong and are now costing the lives of all who are involved.
As an avid fan of the “Doom” video games that game me numerous jump scares back in the day, I really enjoyed this film. We are shown some really sweet gore scenes, lots of sweet gunfire, amazing looking creatures, an interesting backstory on how things got bad(if you are a science geek like me), and LOTS of action. What more could you ask for from a film based on a video game that gives you those exact elements? This film is not meant to be watched in “Academy Award mindset”, if you go into this film with that mindset, then you will of course be disappointed. “Doom” is meant to be enjoyed by you and a group of your friends all huddled around a television with some cold brews and buffalo wings. Haha!
One aspect of the film that really impressed me was the FPS (First Person Shooter) scene towards the end of the film. The very second I saw that a FPS scene was going to happen I thought to myself “great, this is how they are going to screw up the film just like House of the Dead did with this sh*t”, but actually…it ended quite well. I personally felt that on a film perspective the FPS idea was a bit cheesy, but given that this is based on the video games I figured it was merely a shout out to the fans of the game. “House of the Dead”(based on the video game you see at basically every Peter Piper Pizza) had some FPS scenes that were actually taken from the videogame itself, which I felt was a ridiculous idea. But what else can you expect from director Uwe Bole right? Anywho, the effects crew that put together the FPS in this “Doom” film did it right by actually doing it live action, not with ridiculous video game effects.
I have no major complaints for this film mainly because I know what to expect from a film like this. Don’t expect the best acting because it gets questionable at times, or the best dialogue because we were given quite a few cheesy one-liners. I would have to say my only real complaint would be the ending sequence between Sarge(The Rock) and Reaper(Karl Urban). I felt that this scene was a bit too much “action” and took away from the “horror” feel of the film. It’s not exactly bad for the film because it really is fun to watch but it just gives us a transition in genres and I really wanted this film to stay “horror”.
Overall, this is a fun film to watch for fans of the video games who also enjoyed the “Resident Evil” adaptation back in 2002. Great gore, lots of guns, cool creatures, and tons of action are what this film is about.