Let me tell you, this movie was very surprisingly not sucky. I
have had very bad experiences over the last few years regarding
video game-based movies and movie-based video games. I think everyone
has. But Doom has a special place in my heart. Or maybe
that special place is in my adrenal gland, but the point is that
it’s no Tomb Raider. So I had to see for myself.
The Uldevai facility on Mars has just fallen to monsters. Sarge
(The Rock) gets ordered to recover the facility
and corporate property. He forms up his rapid response team, composed
of your regular rag-tag bunch: Reaper (the guy with a troubled past),
Destroyer (the very large black man with the chaingun), Portman
(the greasy, unsavory fella who doesn’t belong behind a gun),
Duke (run-of-the-mill good soldier), Mac (the Japanese guy), The
Kid (self-explanatory), and lastly Goat (sacrificial marine of God).
Slowly you watch them arrive on the scene while you’re getting
acquainted with the atmosphere, and they’re sweeping the facility.
Reaper (Urban) lost his parents on Uldevai in what I assume to be
an earlier Doom, and now he’s here to “face his demons”
and to rescue his sister. Everyone else starts facing the demons
first, though, and instead of the Doom experience (alone in the
dark surrounded by monsters, munitions, and medikits) we get a squad-based
horror experience. Sarge has the dire situation under control until
Portman breaks quarantine procedure, and now Earth is endangered
as well. That’s when we get our Doom.
If you’re expecting a Doom experience all the way through
the movie, just go play it. For the love of God, just go play it.
Doom 3 is something of a good cinematic experience in itself, and
has a very rich environment in its story. On top of that, it’s
FUCKING scary. But the movie itself does a great job of bringing
the Doom environment to life, in the visual style of Doom 3 for
those of you who care. And, of course, they put in the memorabilia/paraphernalia
of the game, even the floating weapon on display. Anyone who loves
the game should love the little bones they throw out (and I’m
not talking about gibs). For example, the debate on what BFG stands
for has now been resolved (Hint: It’s not Bio Force Gun).
Most of the movie is in a horror format though, with an elusive
and powerful enemy that highly trained soldiers try and hunt down.
That makes it a lot like Aliens, which I think is something
of a compliment. To top it all off, neither black guy dies first.
Now for the part where I tell you about everything they failed to
do well in the movie. It’s probably an inevitable consequence
of writing up a rag-tag squad that you’re gonna end up with
soldiers saying some kinda stupid things. I don’t mean the
characters say something stupid, but rather the writing of the soldiers
is a little stereotypical and/or out of place. I don’t know
what can be done about that, except making them just say little
to nothing. You also have the unfortunate necessity of scripting
in a description and origin of the monsters and research on Uldevai.
A thankless job I’d say, as it’s almost impossible to
explain demons in a sci-fi setting without sounding a little silly.
We don’t get to see hell in this movie, because there really
is no material hell. It’s a little Sartrian here: Hell is
other (murderous) people. Oh well. Lastly, the ending involved a
very un-Doom fistfight. But these flaws are easily overlooked. If
you liked the games, or like horror flicks, or like action flicks,
or otherwise have interest in seeing this movie, go do it.
I can proudly say it doesn’t suck.