Doom Review

Doom film still

Score

Just another zombie film with marines in space shooting monsters.

It was inevitable that there would be a film of Doom made; it was perfect in so many ways. Since the game was so influential, had so many fans, and since so many of those fans had been so affected by it; some couldn’t even approach a corridor without crapping themselves about what lurked within.

The plot is as expected. It is more or less sufficient to say that a crack team of marines is sent to investigate a quarantined research facility on Mars, where strange things have been happening. With a liberal spraying of cliché, the mystery is soon explained when a genetic mutation is discovered that is turning people into zombies and other kinds of nasty creatures. Guess we’ll need some big men with big guns then.

The monsters have been based upon real enemies from the game, which are acted rather than CGI, but they are let down by poor lighting. This is presumably to add atmosphere, but it is just one of many things that are wildly different from the original games. However, there are a few nods to the game, such as the inclusion of the BFG9000 and chainsaw weapons, both iconic amongst those who have played any of the titles.

What's more, some of the characters in the film are named after the game developers, and you also see actual scenery detail from the Doom 3 game and so on.

Unfortunately these touches just don’t really do enough to recreate the essence of the game, or the experience that was Doom. There's enough wrong with the film that the simple inclusion of a handful of elements from the games and a frenzied sequence towards the end from a first-person perspective,  are just not enough to make it work.

Doom was very, very scary to play. But at no point in the film do you jump out of your seat, and it certainly won’t have you obsessing and twitching like the games have done for anyone who ever loved them. The game’s great strength was that it hinged on the idea of a lone soldier battling his way through Hell, nothing and no one to rely on, but his wits and an assortment of weapons of mass destruction.

The much weaker premise of genetic mutation could never live up to the idea of opening up a gateway to hell itself. This turns Doom in to just another zombie film with marines in space shooting monsters.

Although there are some solid action-man performances from Karl Urban and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, and a couple of nice fight scenes; there is no avoiding the fact that this is a cynical money-spinner that fails to do justice to a franchise that means so much to so many people.

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