Doom

Doom

***1/2

Reviewed by: Kotleta

A fine example of the military vs monsters sub-genre, Doom is brilliantly rubbish and quite the funniest thing to come out in months.

Something has gone violently and mysteriously wrong at a research compound on Mars, so a crack team of Marines is broken out of its pre-leave reverie and beamed up on a standard sci-fi kill-or-be-killed mission. It's an emotional journey for John Grimm as his parents died there in suspiciously unexplained circumstances and his estranged twin sister Sam is one of the scientists they're being sent to rescue. You can tell he's upset because he squints a bit.

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Watching his back are God-botherer Goat, a sleazeball with greasy hair and a whiny voice, new recruit "the kid", squad leader Sarge, two token black guys and a Chinese bloke called Mac. Strictly to formula, some stupidly nicknamed men in black run through a labyrinth of shiny corridors and sticky sewers for an hour and a half in pursuit of, and running from, slimy superhuman mutant things. Lots of people die messily, some survive. Guess who makes it to the end credits...?

This could have been, and sounds very much like, a complete waste of time. However, the consistently bad dialogue, expensive set design and knowingly hammy acting lifts it almost to pastiche level. Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, aka this season's Bruce Willis, is very good as benevolently psychotic jobsworth Sarge. With only an arched eyebrow and slightly sardonic smirk in his repertoire of expressions, he manages to convey an awareness that this film is dreadful, while slyly encouraging the audience to give in and binge themselves sick on visual junk food.

Doom steals the best bits from other action/sci-fi/horror films and throws them into the blender with a bucket of blood and some dodgy latex effects to create a hugely entertaining piece of nonsense with no aspirations to be anything more intellectual. While it appears to have been written by a 12-year old, Doom might be considered a work of genius in a parallel universe. In this one, it's... er... not.

Reviewed on: 09 Dec 2005
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A futuristic Marines vs monsters video game adaptation.
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Anton Bitel **

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak

Writer: Dave Callaham, Wesley Strick

Starring: Karl Urban, The Rock, Rosamund Pike, DeObia Oparei, Ben Daniels, Raz Adoti, Richard Brake, Al Weaver, Dexter Fletcher, Brian Steele, Yao Chin, Robert Russell, Daniel York, Ian Hughes, Sara Houghton, Blanka Jarasova, Vladislav Dyntera, Petr Hnetkovsky, Jar

Year: 2005

Runtime: 110 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK/Czech Republic/Germany/US

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