*** (out of 5)
October 21, 2005
Karl Urban as JOHN “REAPER” GRIMM
Rosamund Pike as DR. SAMANTHA “SAM” GRIMM
Raz Adoti as DUKE
The Rock as SARGE
Directed by: Andrzej Bartkowiak
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
From my standpoint, the movie version of “Doom” is exactly the same as the video game itself. The plot is simple: A lot of things get blown up.
Oh sure, there’s a story about a crack team of marines sent into a base on Mars to contain a monster outbreak. But that’s all superfluous to the whole blowing things up concept.
After seeing “Doom,” I got in an argument with a friend. He didn’t like the movie. Thought it was too vacant and weak on plot. I, on the other hand, liked it. It was what it was… a movie where they blew a lot of things up.
Of course, my friend tried to tell me that the new “Doom III” video game (which is what the plot of the film is based on) was different. It had this pretty cool plot about an outbreak on Mars, and he was convinced that the filmmakers trampled on the concepts found in the game. After he explained this to me, I said to him, “That’s all backstory. How do you play the game?” He stared at me blankly for a second, not really able to find the words. So I found them for him: “You blow things up.”
I’ve never played “Doom” myself, but I’ve watched people play it. In fact, at my first job out of college, I watched some guys play “Doom” for over an hour, connected through the company’s server. And I can tell you with absolute certainty that the game was nothing more than blowing things up.
And I’m okay with that. No one going to “Doom” is ever going to think that it will be named in the slate of Golden Globes nominees. The game was about blowing things up. The movie is about blowing things up. Duh.
It’s like “Mortal Kombat.” I heard someone once talk about how great the “Mortal Kombat” movie was because this was a video game that actually had a story to it. But in truth, it doesn’t. “Mortal Kombat” was about kicking the snot out of each other. Period.
In “Doom,” a group of scientists have discovered a portal from Earth to Mars set up by an ancient alien race. While excavating a site on the Martian landscape, a batch of mutant creatures is unleashed. A quarantine shuts down the Martian base, and a group of marines are brought in to clean up the mess. One of the marines is the brother of a scientist who is given the task of retrieving critical data from the computers on the site.
Of course, it doesn’t take long to get to the blowing things up part. Soon, monsters appear from the shadows and attack the marines. Of course, this team has a relatively large number, affording a large body count as we move through the half-way point.
There is the obligatory scene where the scientist explains to her brother how these creatures appears. Surprise, surprise… they’re mutated versions of humans.
When it comes to plot, there’s nothing original about “Doom.” I’ve seen this plot done a million times before, and in many ways, this is nothing more than a reshoot of “Resident Evil.” But then again, I’m okay with that. I liked “Resident Evil.” I never played that game either, but I knew the movie wasn’t about anything more than a chance to blow things up. In fact, during the obligatory explanation scene in “Doom,” I was quickly disinterested. I kept thinking, “Okay, enough talk. Let’s start blowing things up.”
Fans of “Doom” should love this movie. It’s got all the cool stuff from the game… the mutant creatures… the chainsaw… the BFG. If you’re looking for plot and character, see something else. But if you want to see a lot of things get blown up, you’ll want to check this out.