Apparently based on ID software? ?enre-defining?shoot-em-up computer game, DOOM is?ell, what can I say? It? a film we?e all seen far too many times before and yet, despite the clich? the dreadful dialogue, corny monsters, loud bangs and explosions, it has its own Neanderthal charm and will most likely appeal to those who find the RESIDENT EVIL films too pretentious and difficult to follow.
Here? what you get. Something? gone wrong on a scientific/archaeological outpost on Mars. Monsters are ripping apart the base? personnel. A crack squad of troops are sent to Mars ?via some boring globby teleportation mechanism rather than a much cooler spaceship ?to sort it out. But these monstersUwhere have they come from? Are they monsters or are they something more? Or even something less??
Beneath the surface gloss and military bravado of DOOM there lies a halfway decent sci-fi plot and, commendably, the film at least tries to give us characters who are more than just monster-fodder so that when they do get offed (which you know is inevitable) they?e risen above their risible names ?Duke, Destroyer, Reaper, Sarge, Cecil, Kevin (okay, I made the last two up) ?and you?e at least able to tell one from another. When they do appear, the monsters are either just snarling CGI or snarling men in costumes and, although they?e bloodthirsty and gory, they don? amount to much because we?e seen this stuff a million times before. Amusingly, the film only remembers it? based on a computer shoot-em-up in the last reel when the camera assumes a first person viewpoint and the gun barrel picks off monsters, zombies and anything else nasty which can pop out from behind a sealed bulkhead or appear from behind a stack of oil drums. And it? here too that the film loses whatever identity it may have had. It? already paid its dues to ALIENS, now it? become a zombie flick and, oh, look, now it? TERMINATOR.
But it? not just a film for trigger-happy boys (although it actually is). Look ?there? a lady in the cast! Rosamund Pike decides to slum it in a bad genre role as a dozy scientist and sister of one of the lead Marines (he could have stayed at home! He SHOULD have stayed at home!) and not only does she get the most dialogue, she also gets the stupidest dialogue. Then there? that walking acting masterclass The Rock (and I think if my first name was really Dwayne I? probably name myself after an inaminate object too) who plays Sarge with all the spit??narl of a cut-price John Wayne. His death three-quarters of the way through the movie may surprise those in the audience who are still awake but hey, this is Sci-fi and the dead don? always stay dead!!
I? being snidey and sniffey about DOOM but I have to admit I enjoyed the movie in a ?uilty pleasure?sort of way. The set design is good, the action scenes are well-directed and there? enough tension to keep up the momentum of the hundred-odd minute running time. But ageing gamers will enjoy it the most as it brings back happy joystick memories; you and I can sit and sigh at what is, essentially, a dumb-ass ALIEN rip-off without the wit or style of the original. Still, there are worse ways to waste a hundred minutes of your life?]>