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Doom (Unrated Widescreen Edition) (2005)

A movie directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak

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Fails to meet already low expectations

  • Sep 19, 2010
  • by
Rating:
-3
When one contemplates watching a movie like DOOM, surely ones expectations are always pretty low. Lots of gory sci-fi action is probably all one can hope for. DOOM provides a fair dose of that...but it also provides other, less welcome aspects...mostly involving guys with big guns walking around dark, steel corridors doing nothing but looking anxious and sweating.

I understand that action scenes and such are pretty expensive to make, particularly when they call for convincing CGI monsters. But to pad the story to feature length by filling it with interminable scenes like this makes the whole enterprise virtually fall apart. Having just seen the "unrated director's cut" at 1:53, I would say the film EASILY has 30 minutes of utterly unneeded padding.

Set in the future, a group of marines is dispatched to a research station on Mars, where a significant portion of the base is on lockdown after some kind of mysterious, violent event took place. The marines, led by "Sarge" (The Rock, before he had gone to being Dwayne Johnson and playing a Tooth Fairy) are a typically diverse group, with nary an original character in sight. Karl Urban is the nominal 2nd in command, and it just so happens that his estranged sister (Rosamund Pike) is a scientist at the station.

They poke around for awhile, and after a LONG time, find some monsters and the gunplay commences. And it all feels like little more than a third-rate ALIENS rip-off. Monsters appearing behind marines, above marines and below marines. Our characters picked off one by one. A conspiracy that implicates the scientists in some pretty shady experiments. And so forth, from one unoriginal idea to another.

Again, that would almost be okay, because it's the action we came for. But until the last 15 minutes or so, the action feels complete rote and uninspired. Fortunately, the film goes from being a complete waste of time to a mostly complete waste of time when it finally turns into a direct homage to the classic video game on which it is based. (In case you didn't know, DOOM was the original "first person shooter" where the game is played as though through the view of the player. You see your own gun in front of you and move through corridors and chambers, shooting everything that moves.) Urban takes on this view and for about five minutes, we get the fun of seeing a beloved, but very old, video game brought to life. It even emulates the flowing style of the character moving through space...a movement that it trying to emulate real life but doesn't quite. This is good, clean fun...something the rest of the film misses.

The performers are all unremarkable, even Pike, who bounces from these modern action films (DIE ANOTHER DAY) to high-quality projects like PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and her wonderful work in AN EDUCATION. Urban is bland and The Rock is all attitude and no real character. The special effects were also merely adequate, and the soundtrack was all generic blaring techno.

In summation, there really isn't a good reason to see this film. I had VERY low expectations, and even those were not met.

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More Doom (2005) reviews
review by . November 22, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
DOOM, believe it or not, is based on a video game! With all the literature of the world, all the fine screenplays that are stacked on the shelves, all the creative stories that languish in the 'not for profit probably' bins, it seems a raw commentary on today's movie audiences to spend millions of dollars on a game everyone who cares already knows. But, movies are business and box office demands take precedence.    As the narrator of the film states, 'In the year 2026 archaeologists …
review by . April 17, 2006
I, unlike other people, did not find this movie to be a disappointment. I never got to see this movie in the theater and recently got a chance to see the uncut edition. Honestly my very first impression of the movie was "this is cool". Honestly if this movie would have been called "UAC Marines", "Viral Apocalypse" or something else random, this movie would have done A LOT better. It was actually really good for a sci-fi movie. Much in the vein of Resident Evil meets Mission to Mars. The thing that …
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I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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Grab your BFG and get ready to kick some Martian-demon butt inDoom, another entry in the increasingly crowded videogame-to-movie genre. The Rock plays Sarge, the commander of a squad of Marines sent to investigate a disturbance at a scientific research facility on Mars. Among the squad is John Grimm (Karl Urban, who played Eomer inThe Lord of the Rings), who turns out to have had a previous relationship with Samantha (Rosamund Pike,Die Another Day), the scientist who's accompanying the Marines in order to retrieve some vital data from the facility. Based on id Software's legendary first-person shooter,Doomtries its best to look like a game, with dark, angled corridors, ferocious creatures appearing out of nowhere, and a variety of lethal weapons that will, like the aforementioned BFG, warm the cockles of a gamer's heart. There's also one memorable sequence that actually turns the movie into a first-person shooter; the good news is that in the context of the whole film, it's not quite as goofy as it might have been. And that's not a bad frame of reference for the film in general. Considering the game-to-movie field includes such duds asWing Commander, if you go intoDoomwith low expectations, you'll probably find it a surprisingly respectable horror/sci-fi thriller in theResident Evilvein (including its somewhat obligatory subplot of corporate wrongdoing). Also in its favor is that it's unabashedly R-rated, for the extreme gore that is a ...
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Details

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Screen Writer: Wesley Strick, Dave Callaham
DVD Release Date: February 7, 2006
Runtime: 113 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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