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Reviews » Theatrical Reviews » Doom
Doom
Universal // R // October 21, 2005
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted October 23, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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Prior to seeing Doom in the theaters, the only thing I really knew about it was a trailer I had seen a few weeks back. I could tell from those few minutes of footage that the movie was going to stink. But I, of course, went and saw it in the theaters anyways. As it turns out, Doom wasn't nearly as terrible as I expected. It had some racy action and enough gore to keep you entertained, but on the whole, the movie was pretty lackluster. The characters were one dimensional and the entire plot seemed to copy the Alien series (including AVP: Alien Versus Predator) and Resident Evil. While it might be an entertaining watch, you are undoubtedly not going to come back for more.

For the unawares, "Doom" was a pioneer video game for first person shooters. It was basically a shoot 'em up game where you, a marine, with an arsenal of weapons went up against a legion of demons and all sorts of hellions. Doom, the movie, is loosely based upon the video game. In the opening sequence of the movie a group of scientists located on an isolated section of a remote research facility on the planet Mars are slaughtered by some unknown creature. Luckily one of the scientists if able to get a distress call out to the rest of the outpost before he is killed. Unfortunately there was little information in his message and a group of roughneck marines were sent in for search & rescue, data recovery, and containment.

The movie itself occurs in pretty much the same format as other thrillers. The marines act as the hunters, only to become the hunted. One by one they are killed by some unknown alien entity, who in turns converts the dead into creatures of evil. In this respect, I was severely let down. At a glance Doom is no different than Alien, except Alien isn't cheesy and the acting performances aren't awful. It is actually a good movie. Although Doom did have a little twist with the characters, one that I wasn't expecting where the hero turns out to be the villain and someone else has to step up to take his place. But still this was not enough to save the film from failure.

Another area I found lacking was the characters. The main characters are played by The Rock, Karl Urban, and Rosamund Pike. The Rock plays the Sarge, the leader of the marines. He is a tough duty bound officer who will stop at nothing to complete his mission. Urban plays John Grimm, the quiet hero. John has had a troubled life. The outpost on Mars is where he lost his parents. As a result he is scared and resentful of the outpost. Pike plays Samantha Grimm, an archeologist and twin sister to John. She has been at odds with John for the last ten years because he doesn't think she should work on the outpost because it is scary. None of the characters came off particularly strong and the supporting roles were even worse off.

There were also a lot of attempts in the movie to keep to little antics from the video game. For instance a non-projectile weapon used in the game is a chainsaw, which makes an appearance. Why in God's name there is chainsaw in a research facility in Mars, I do not know. At the end of the film there was a first person perspective segment, where the hero took on the undead. I was half expecting the health status bar from the game to appear on the screen. I am of the opinion the first person perspective was out of place in the movie. Sure while it helps relate it to the video game, it just seemed weird.

Overall, I can't say I really enjoyed Doom. It had a few enjoyable moments of mindless action, but the story and the characters are fleeting and offer very little. It turned out to be better than I expected, but I had pretty low expectations when I went in. The bottom line, Doom is a poorly written movie that as a mindless action flick might entertain you. On the other hand, it might also put you to sleep.

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