Reviews & Counting
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak

The Rock/Sarge
Karl Urban/John
Rosamund Pike/Samantha
5 10
When the shite hits the fan within a research facility on Mars, a group of badass Marines led by “The People’s Eyebrow” (The Rock) are sent in to contain and decipher the situation. Ample strolling around in dark corridors with flashlights and pinches of machine guns vs. beasties follows.
Now I’ve played the DOOM video game a couple of times (Part 1 and 3) and highly enjoyed it for what it was, an unyielding, zero bullshit, first person shoot them up (my favorite type of game). So coming into this film adaptation of it, I wasn’t asking for too much. Just gimmee lots fly by your pants creatures, gunplay, gore and action…and make that to go please! Having now seen the flick, yeah, I got some of that jive…but why in such tiny and flat doses?

DOOM was almost an anti-action, horror-action film where its premise begged for mucho "Ra-Ta-Tat" and extensive human versus monsters scenarios but unfortunately it went on to deliver those key ingredients quite tepidly. The gun play in this Zoo was way too seldom for a film of this ilk and when it did happen, it always ended too damn fast. And it didn’t get much better when it came to the random creature appearances (and when you did see them, they were mostly in the dark). Why random? THIS IS DOOM MAN! NOT SPACE INVADERS! What’s going on here? Did they forget which video game they were adapting? So if watching a bunch of dudes with guns walk down dark and drippy hallways is the definition of “action” for you, you’ll be well served here where that’s pretty much all the first hour of this movie put out. Personally, I was semi bored as that unfolded, impatiently waiting for the film to up the ante on its proceedings already. Sheesh!

The fact that most of the characters at hand failed to grab me on any level didn’t help jack up my engagement factor either. Apart from the always charismatic The Rock (Sarge) and the endearingly brooding Karl Urban (John), the rest of the players were blah to say the least. And what was the deal with that poor attempt at characterization, when it came to John's back-story. I still don’t fully know what that "parent" stuff was all about and why it was in the film! Either I’m a moron or the flick wasn’t too clear as to its intentions (I opt for both). My final gripe had to do with the nature of the creatures themselves. In the game they came from hell; in the film, well they came from…”been there, done that, snore” land. What’s wrong with Hell man! It would’ve worked better than the uninspired and far from stimulating origin they came up with to motor this neutered puppy forward.Why change it?

On the moderate upside; this ride was one of those detached, chuckle when something groovy happens on screen and then go back to “brain off” mode sittings. Hence it wasn’t too painful of a watch. Furthermore, the slick visuals made for potent eye candy,  the well designed beasties/sets/CGI were competently executed and the occasional inventive gore gag got some grins out of me (All about how the guy with no legs gets it…NICE!). Thank Zeus that The Rock was cast in this though; he’s always such a riot to watch! Here, he contributed a handful of crowd pleasing bits and handled his character’s “mood swing” admirably. Finally, the last block of this “adventure” (term used loosely) did FINALLY bring some life into this celluloid game with more action encompassed within it than there was in the entire first hour. Wait till you see all the slick nods to the game though, with that uber kool first person shooter sequence owning the most! It went on to emulate the video game to a T and an A (don’t ask) and acted as a kool tip of the gun to the DOOM gamers who are seeing the movie. Well done!!

With that vented out, The Rock and a couple of nifty bits aside, DOOM let me down often where it never hit any of its balls out of the "fun times" park. Who thought it would be that hard to accomplish? It’s DOOM! You know, action, guns, monsters, gore, more action…what’s so hard about that? Oh well, back to playing the video game I go! So you going to bring your daughter to this impotent slaughter or what?
We get some nasty wounds, harsh monster bites, a severed hand, a severed head, a spike in the hand and more! The gore was ample but it happened so quick that I had a hard time to fully register it as it rolled by. NOTE: The creature designs were stellar when seen. Think a seemless blend of CG and prosthetic. Bang on!
The Rock (Sarge) was charismatic as per usual and able most of the way. He actually pulled a “Dolph Lundgren in Universal Soldier” for the final act. Fun times! Karl Urban (John) played it down and brooded like a champ…it worked! Rosamund Pike (Samantha) was mostly credible but her now you hear it and now you don’t British accent took away from the part.
T & A
The ladies get some buff dude shirtless and The Rock’s pythons. We get nude monsters…not a fair trade man!
Andrzej Bartkowiak took the flashy, MTV light route with the film. It worked when having to do with atmosphere and zany shots but his action scenes were cut too tight to have much of an impact while his suspense bits were half and half.
We get a knee slapping Techno/Metal score. I dug it the most!
DOOM gave me polished visuals, gnarly guns, sly nods to the game and some ugly creatures. Too bad it forgot to take its adrenaline shot in the morning where it rarely capitalized on the game’s action driven and shoot them up nature. I would’ve needed to see more creatures, witness conflicts that lasted longer than 5 seconds a clip and a tighter narrative to call this one the “fun cheese” it should’ve been. As is, DOOM was a fairly un-exciting action horror flick. Think ordering a Big Mac to then find out horrified when taking a healthy bite that they skipped on that addictive“Special Mayo” and those peculiar yet yummy pickles. SHAME ON THEM!
The Rock was offered the lead role of John Grimm, but chose the role of Sarge because he thought it was more interesting.