Action Movie Fanatix Review: Doom

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Hell Breaks Loose

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, Richard Brake

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak

2005  |  100 Minutes  |  Rated R

“We are the reinforcements.” – Sarge

When talking about how bad video game to movie translations have gone, Doom is always brought up as an example of just how truly awful it can get.

A group of Space Marines, led by Sarge (Dwayne Johnson) and John Grimm (Karl Urban), are sent to a research facility on Mars to investigate some recent strange occurrences.  Soon, the Marines find themselves under attack from creatures straight out of Hell.

First of all, lets all agree that the original Doom video game was really not anything all that great.  It was one of the original first person shooters but the story was even more bare bones than this movie was.  That isn’t an excuse for how bad this movie is but at least it isn’t like the movie’s creators took a dump on something truly special.  I guess I was always more of a Castle Wolfenstein fan anyway.

There really isn’t a whole ton great to say about Doom.  The story is extremely basic.  The dialogue is horrible and didn’t even manage to capture some of the fun cheese that would have fit right in with the video games it was based on.

The monster designs aren’t up to par with other similar movies that came out around the same time.  They aren’t horrible but there is nothing original or memorable about any of them and most of the time they are almost completely cloaked in darkness so we can’t even see how scary (or not) they are.

The action is pretty basic and really never got exciting enough to get me into it.  There are a ton of sweet weapons and the movie is plenty bloody but constantly spraying bullets into the darkness does not make for an exciting action scene.

Doom probably should have made a better attempt to capture the horror of the original Alien.  Having demons invading a Mars research facility should be a terrifying experience.  Instead it is just boring.

As much as I don’t want to address it, I wouldn’t be doing this review any justice if I didn’t talk about the first person shooter scenes of Doom.  They are really just the icing on the feces flavored cake that is this movie.  It just comes across incredibly cheesy and just like everything else in the movie… not fun.

Doom is one of those times where a movie is fully deserving of its bad reputation.  I often find myself finding something to enjoy about movies that are panned all over (Judge Dredd) but there is nothing for me to enjoy here.