Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Movie Review: "Doom" (2005)

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Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Year: 2005
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

A group of Space Marines have orders to secure a Mars research facility that has come under attack from strange creatures.

Based on the first person shooter video game of the same name, Andrzej Bartkowiak's "Doom" is a science fiction action horror film starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Karl Urban, and Rosamund Pike. Johnson plays Sarge, the commander of a troupe of Space Marines, because all other marines are apparently not good enough. He and his team are called into action when a research laboratory on Mars has been attacked by a slew of unknown creatures. Urban plays John Grimm, who is one of Sarge's soldiers. Grimm spent much of his life at the Mars lab where his sister Samantha, played by Pike, works. Together, the scientific-minded Sam and the muscle-bound group of Space Marines must find out just what kind of creatures are killing off people in the lab one by one before they, too, become dinner.

The plot of the movie is pretty thin, but what do you expect from a movie based off of a video game? We aren't avid gamers, and I don't ever recall playing Doom. First person shooters aren't exactly our thing. We had no expectations going into this film. It's essentially a 'go to Mars' mission, but with a BFG (big f**kin' gun). The Space Marines must contain the threat of whatever alien being is tearing people apart by shooting a bunch of things that go boom in the darkness while simultaneously getting home safely with minimal casualties. Of course, this is easier said than done. There is also a bit of a subplot about the type of research that's going on in the laboratory, but it is only lightly breezed over in order to give Pike's character a purpose. When it gets down to it, "Doom" is about monsters ripping people apart and a bunch of Marines shooting up the monsters. So, essentially, an "Alien" ripoff, only distinguished by the fact that it was a video game first. Surprisingly, there is actually some pretty good make-up work done in the film. When people are ripping off their own ears and the creatures are dismembering the cast and crew of the Mars lab, more often than not, the grotesque nature of the injuries look halfway decent. Most the monsters look okay, but when outdated CGI is added to them, then they start to look cheesy as hell. The horror aspect to this story is mostly based on jump scares and an overabundance of gore, but we don't know if we'd really call this movie a horror film. There is some decent action to be had, but after the first formulaic death (crew breaks off, crew goes into an empty room, silence falls over the room, a crew member gets maimed), it gets to be a little tiresome. As always, Dwayne Johnson is his charming self, even when he's screaming at his troupe.

There is an ode to the first person shooter video game style in the very last portion of the movie as we watch the film conclude from the first person perspective of one of the characters, but it feels very shoehorned in and we were left scratching our heads at its inclusion. Overall, "Doom" is not a great film, but it's not a completely bad one either.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 5.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 19%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.
One year ago, we were watching: "The Avengers"

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