Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Starring: Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Length: 100 min.
Release Date: October 21, 2005
A frantic call for help from a remote research station on Mars sends a team of mercenary Marines into action. Led by ‘The Rock’ and Karl Urban, they descend into the Olduvai Research Station, where they find a legion of nightmarish creatures, lurking in the darkness, killing at will. Once there, the Marines must use an arsenal of firepower to carry out their mission; nothing gets out alive. Based on the hugely popular video game, “Doom” is an explosive action-packed thrill ride.
I must admit, this is one of the movies in my collection I am not proud to admit I own. I have a feeling I got it really really cheap on a Black Friday sale for like maybe $2.00 and since I hadn’t seen it since I saw it in theaters I had forgotten how bad it was. Two bucks blown…no doubt.
Still, this movie does have a little special place in my heart because it was the first movie I ever went to with the woman I am now married to. We went with a group of friends, and I was rather taken back that she was willing to go to what is most assuredly a “manly movie.” I think it’s safe to say my final crush started then. Anyway, enough of this sentimental mumbo jumbo…on to the movie.
Soooo…Doom. What is there to say about this movie?…It’s bad…really really bad. And if you are a fan of the game(s)…it’s even worse. Ever heard of Director Andrzej Bartkowiak? I didn’t think so. That’s because he’s not a director. Well, not a good one anyway. He’s done a respectable job in his role as cinematographer and you can see that work in such films as The Devil’s Advocate, U.S. Marshals, Falling Down and Speed. But as a director, the only other movie you are likely to have heard of is Romeo Must Die from back in 2000. It was his debue as a director and not a particularly terible film…but not exactly a great one either.
Concerning the movie Doom, perhaps the biggest problem most gamer fans have with it is how much they screwed up the monsters. In the game you are facing off against demons that are coming through a portal directly from hell. That’s a rather creepy concept if you ask me. That would have made for one scary and action packed film. Did Andrzej Bartkowiak use this creepy idea in his movie?…of course not. He abandoned this creepy and awesome idea that was already well established (minor spoiler alert) for a concept that more closely resembles that of Resident Evil. It just was not what I was hoping for when I went into this movie.
The acting is acceptable given the mediocre dialog they had to work with and the music gets the job done…but the story never really delivers a truly Doom story arch. There are moments when it kinda feels like the game, but just for a moment. One sequence that actually goes into a classic FPS (First Person Shooter) screen shot is really cool…but it’s done during one of the worst possible moments in the movie! During that whole sequence I’m thinking, “This is cool, but for this particular moment in the movie it would be better to take a step back and let us see all the action.”
All in all, it has tons of action and great special effects, but that’s really about all it has going for it. The fact that there are no “demons” from hell that you are facing off against really sucks a lot of the Doom feel right out of the film. Ultimately that takes it from a potentially decent movie adaptation of a classic video game to an absolute joke of the sci-fi, horror and/or action genres. Doom gets 1.5 stars out of 5.