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Doom (2005)

DVD Cover (Universal)
Genres / Traits:
Action, Creature Film, Horror, Sci-Fi Action, Zombie Film, Video Games
Director:
Andrzej Bartkowiak Andrzej Bartkowiak
Starring:
Karl Urban Karl Urban
Rosamund Pike Rosamund Pike
Deobia Oparei Deobia Oparei
Ben Daniels Ben Daniels
Razaaq Adoti Razaaq Adoti

5.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: February 12, 2006
Before getting down to business, I'd like to point out two disclaimers for this review. The first one deals with the games themselves. I played the hell out of Doom and Doom II back in the days of 14.4 modems (remember dialing into your opponents computer for multiplayer frag-fests?), but I've yet to get around to buying the top-of-the-line computer required for Doom III. Therefore, I do know a good deal about the Doom storyline and such, but large portions of this movie was based off of Doom III, so I may have missed some things here and there. The second disclaimer is that I watched the unrated version of the movie on DVD; therefore, you may have missed some of the things I'll be describing if you've only seen the R-rated theatrical cut. I haven't seen said cut so I can't comment on the differences, so take this review as you will.

Now then, let's get down to the storyline. We find ourselves aboard a Mars research base in the year 2046, and the movie starts out with a group of scientists running down a hallway in an attempt to escape from an unseen villain (or villains). Scientist Dr. Carmack (Robert Russell) is the only one who manages to make it to a "secured" room, and when he enters said room, he places a distress call to Earth to request a quarantine and some reinforcements. It doesn't take long before something breaks down the door, and then...

...we cut over to a group of fellows known as the Rapid Response Tactical Squad (RRTS). The RRTS are the ones who will be sent to Mars in order to both rescue any surviving scientists and to eliminate any enemy beings. Led by Sarge (The Rock), the group of hard-nosed marines consists of Reaper (Karl Urban), Destroyer (Deobia Oparei), Mac (Yao Chin), Goat (Ben Daniels), Duke (Razaaq Adoti), Portman (Richard Brake), and The Kid (Al Weaver). Accompanying the group on their mission is anthropologist Samantha Grimm (Rosamund Pike), a lady who did research in this base and has orders to recover some data from the computers there. Upon arriving at the space-station thanks to a teleportation device known as The Arc, the RRTS discovers that there are very few human survivors, and they also discover there there are a whole lot of nasty demons / aliens / zombies / whatever they're called in this rendition of the storyline. Eight men loaded down with huge guns and grenades versus a swarm of hell-spawned beasts... whoever shall win this battle, I wonder?

As I mentioned earlier in the review, I invested countless hours playing both Doom and Doom II back when they were the hottest games on the market. There's a story told in one of the bonus features on the DVD where a guy describes receiving a shareware version of the original Doom on a floppy disc (remember those days?). I have a very similar story that I could tell, but I doubt that you readers came here to read about how I got into first-person shooters over a decade ago. The point is that I consider myself to be well-versed in the Doom mythos. I'll be the first to admit that the storyline found in both games was far from spectacular; you played a space marine stranded on Mars, where a portal to Hell had been opened and demons were flooding the planet. Your goal was to escape the planet and kill as many demons along the way as humanly possible. Again, I haven't played Doom III, but I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that it didn't stray too much from the general storyline of the first two games.

This concept of one man versus a near-infinite amount of beasts is the perfect setup for a no-brainer action movie, and after (I believe) four attempts at getting this movie made, I have to wonder why they couldn't stick with the source material. The whole concept of demons from Hell has been scrapped in favor of some genetic-engineering gone wrong mumbo-jumbo, and although this storyline is nothing to get excited about, I do have to admit that it worked out decently enough for this type of movie. However, I can't see why they had to slap the Doom title on a movie that only takes bits and pieces of the main storyline from the Doom video games. What irritated me the most about this was the constant hinting towards Hell and demons ("This place is Hell!" was one such quote), but after all the hinting, they went with that silly genetic storyline. Sure, the demons from Hell plot wouldn't have won any points for originality, but then, neither did the whole "scientists try to play God, screw up, create monsters, monsters kill scientists" storyline. With the exception of one scene towards the end, nearly the entire movie could have been kept as is with this whole demons from Hell approach, so again, I have to question the decision to change that huge aspect of the games for the movie.

Now, to be fair, the Doom legacy isn't completely trashed in this movie; in fact, there's a rather large number of subtle nods to the video games and fans will see a lot of things to get excited about. Remember the cheat code IDKFA (unlimited ammo) from the original Doom? That's the codename from the weapons supply room. The BFG makes its movie debut, and while this may not seem like a huge deal for the uninitiated, I couldn't help but smile when that storyline played out. You see, the original Doom featured a huge gun known only as the BFG-3000. What did "BFG" stand for? The developers wouldn't say, but the common belief among gamers was "Big Fucking Gun" thanks to the insane power behind it. When the gun is first shown in the movie, it's referred to as the "Big Force Gun", which was a bit of a letdown for yours truly. However, when Sarge finally gets to use it, he lets out the phrase "That is one big fucking gun." Small nods like these run rampant throughout the movie, and while many of them will fly right over the head of Joe Average who has never played the games, the hardcore gamers in the crowd will eat them up. Speaking of which, I enjoyed how they used the "Sarge" character and made him true to the game... I won't reveal any more about that, but I honestly did not see that revelation coming and was pleasantly surprised. Finally, I couldn't write this review and leave out the first-person shooter scene. Viewed from behind a gun with no view of the character and shot all in one take, this six'ish minute scene attempts to recreate the feel of the video games in movie form, and it was by far the best scene in the movie. I had heard about this scene prior to watching the movie, and while I thought it was a neat idea, I did not expect it to be as cool as it turned out to be.

While I'm a bit disappointed about the scrapping of the whole Hell storyline, I have to admit that fans of the Doom games will likely enjoy this movie. There's no intricate storylines or shocking twists, but there is a whole lot of monsters, guns, and bloodshed. These are the things that made Doom so enjoyable, and it translated nicely into movie form. There's admittedly not a whole lot of competition thanks to a streak of horrible movies, but I have to say that this is one of the best game-to-movie adaptations to date. 7/10.
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cky2kendall #1: cky2kendall - added 02/12/2006, 03:39 PM
I don't rate this as much of a movie really. I'm a fan of Doom, although I'm not an avid fan. Maybe that's what makes this so hard and bland for me to watch. I found a lot of scenes to just be soldiers walking around with nothing happening, and then someone dies. The plot felt non-existant at times, and the sets were pretty boring for the most part. There were some good bits though (The BFG, the first-person shot, a certain eyebrow-raising "star" being killed). 4/10
doney #2: doney - added 02/13/2006, 04:26 AM
unfortunately, i havent seen this yet, but i reckon (from what ive heard) ill love it, being a hardcore fan of the original games
Alex P #3: Alex P - added 02/14/2006, 03:06 PM
Doom 3 was actually just a remake of the first doom chad so you didnt miss anything on the story line really. but it IS really fucking sweet.

anyway i still really want to see this movie.
doney #4: doney - added 03/06/2006, 07:36 AM
has anyone read the book series, ive got the 3rd in the series, cant find the rest, they should have based the movie on those.....
Ginose #5: Ginose - added 12/13/2006, 12:03 AM
Ehhh... It was alright. I like the self-adaptaion of the game, but not the change of the original trilogy's story. In fact, that (along with some... well Shatner-esqe performances) was the only thing that kept me from really likeing this movie. Still, it wasn't a waste of time, which is rare with these game-to-movie movies. 7.2/10
BuryMeAlive #6: BuryMeAlive - added 12/27/2006, 12:11 PM
Not much happening in the first part of the movie. And the story is kinda silly. Still I don't know too much about the games. First-person-shot thing was pretty cool. But really not too good of a movie.
Rik #7: Rik - added 09/22/2007, 01:40 AM
I love this movie... anyways, it's not Big Force Gun, it's BIO Force Gun. I've played Doom 3 (which is actually a remake of the original Doom, so I've heard) and it's such a kick ass game. If that was recreated into a movie, it would be a blockbuster like no other... The trip to hell and all that... amazing. Not to mention Doom 3 has the 'Soulcube'. The movie was pretty ok... I'd have to slice on pointage abit because of the deviation from the original heretic storyline. 7/10. Other than that, it's hell entertaining.
Tristan #8: Tristan - added 06/15/2009, 07:42 PM
The movie is about as cliched as it gets, but I still find it fun. I don't think there's one decently acted scene in the whole film, but whatever. It's a movie, based off the biggest FPS ever made, starring The Rock, and directed by the guy who made Exit Wounds. You can't expect much.

7/10
Lucid Dreams #9: Lucid Dreams - added 02/14/2010, 11:26 AM
Very surprised by this movie and I thought Mr. Johnson did a pretty good job playing Sarge. 7/10
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