Written by Dave Callaham and Wesley Strick
Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Running Time: 1:45
for strong violence/gore and language.
Doom had a couple of cool moments and a great last 15 minutes but the other hour and a half was full of nonsense that ultimately doomed the movie. Oh yes, I did go there.
There's an outpost on Mars and there are apparently some problems, so a group of soldiers is sent up through this portal which takes about 3 seconds to travel. The soldiers are ordered to contain the problem, and if all fails, just make sure the problem doesn't come back to Earth. Things blow up, people die, and you know the drill.
I've never played the video game Doom before, and I generally don't play first person shooter games. That being said, the movie Doom shouldn't be good or bad based on how faithful it is to the game, because while there are a lot of people who have played the game, if they're the only ones that see the movie, it'll flop. That being said, beyond the last 15 minutes, the movie was bad. The story was too long in developing, the acting and writing were just plain awful, the effects were so-so but the scenery looked like they were shooting on a sound stage. Once we get to the cool part, which as I said happened in the last 15 minutes, you leave the theater thinking you just saw a good movie. Until you start think about it and realize that had you not spent $10 on a ticket and another $10 on popcorn and soda, you would have walked out earlier. I of course did not pay to see Doom, but since I'm expected to write a review I couldn't very well get up and leave, although I really wanted to.
So why only a C- instead of lower? Well I'll tell you. I like The Rock. I used to be a big WWF (WWE) fan until I gave it up a couple of years ago, but I think The Rock is great. He's got style, got charisma, got muscles, got that eyebrow thing going. He isn't the finest actor in the world, but as an action star, he's got a chance to make it big. Then there was the last 15 minutes. This may be a spoiler but everyone said they saw it in the trailer, so it can't be that bad. At one point the movie turns into full on, first person shooter mode, directly out of the game. You become the gun and what the gun sees, you see. It gives the movie a frantic feel and that elevates the action to a whole other level. It kind of makes you wonder what an entire movie would look like if shot in that way, but I guess its better this way. The change of pace is definitely needed and going from that to the climactic fight scene is what will make people leave the theater thinking that the movie wasn't so bad.
That's why Doom would be a decent rental. When things slow down and people are forced to have conversations about inane things, you can fast forward until you get to the good stuff. There are some gruesome moments where people get arms chopped off or eat rats or get dissected but the hot blonde doc, and those are always fun moments in films. But the actors all look like they would rather be somewhere else, and the dialogue doesn't help. The story all takes place underground in a place where you never get your bearings, so it feels like they go from point A to point B in 15 seconds, but then when they have to go back to point A it takes 2 seconds. I never figured out where everything was in relation to everything else, and the fact that the Mars space station looked exactly like the Earth lab didn't help. And explain this to me, because I might have missed something. At one point, Reaper lifts up a vent and looks outside into a Martian archaeological dig. I didn't see any kind of protective covering over the dig or over the vent. Did I miss the part where Mars had oxygen? Maybe I did, but that kind of bugged me. It's like Mars was just an offshoot of Earth. Yes it was a couple of hundred years in the future but Earth didn't look like it had changed all that much, so why should I believe that Mars is a normal, inhabitable planet? I think if the movie had looked better, if it had gone outside on to the planet instead of being all indoors in a bland setting, I might have enjoyed it more. If we had seen more of the creatures it might have been better. If someone had put thought into what the actors were saying, it might have been better. But it was what it was and in the end, it wasn't enough.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, Doom is a decent rental, but not worth seeing in theaters. The last 15 minutes were great but couldn't make up for the mess the other 90 minutes made.
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