Doom (2005)

First person shooter… what is that a kind of drink?

by Adam Miller

Other reviewers have claimed DOOM to be the best videogame movie produced thus far. I'd have to say that, while I'm still not sure that's saying much, DOOM does stand well enough on its own two feet, but my inexplicable fetish for SILENT HILL leaves that as my most cherished VG movie. DOOM actually does a good job pacing its development of plot and action (for antonym see Alone in the Dark). The problem, as usual, is that said plot is hopelessly convoluted. Just what is it with mad scientists creating the central conflicts for video games?

Furthermore, the film actually steers the plot in a more droll direction than the games. The latter are overtly religious: you are battling hell spawn. The basic plot of the game DOOM 3 is that scientists on Mars have not-so-accidentally opened a portal to Hell and you've got to do something about it. The film, I'm guessing thanks to marketing concerns, almost entirely drop the religious content in exchange for the usual science mumbo jumbo about extra chromosones and super-humans etc. Way less horrifying, in my opinion.

The film also suffers from some lame acting from Karl Urban who as the film's hero is never seen without a scowl and furrowed brow. Other critics gave kudos to The Rock for getting outside himself a bit by playing a baddie and resisting the urge to do that eyebrow thing he does, but Urban more than makes up for it with his own facial warping.

The version I saw is apparently the unrated cut and from what I understand it's much gorier than that which debuted in theaters. This is probably for the film's overall benefit, though I must admit to being somewhat too grossed out here and there. Still, if you'd like some quick scares and a fun first-person-shooter sequence this movie certainly does the trick.

Semper Fi, mutha fucka.

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