Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak.
Written by David Callaham and Wesley Strick. Based on the
game by id Software.
Starring The Rock, Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike and Dexter Fletcher.
Release Year: 2005
Review Date: 10/18/05
Thanks to my friend Kerner, I got the chance
to catch another freebie on Tuesday night--"Doom." Since I had
one person to invite on my admit-two pass and a freebie to see a
movie starring The Rock, there was only one man to invite on this
bad boy: Charles "Chuck" Longer, the man, the myth, the mesh
Chuck and I love movies with The Rock...this
is mostly because we think the guy is cool and because most of his
movies are over-the-top action films that are glorious in their
shittiness. This go-round, our man (aka Dwayne Johnson) plays
Sarge, the leader of a special Marine unit that apparently only
deals with quarantines of medical research facilities that can be
dealt with in small teams. Sarge, along with his
second-in-command, Reaper (Karl Urban, from the "Lord of the Rings"
films and late of "The Bourne Supremacy"), lead the seven-man unit
into a remote research installation on Mars, where they find a whole
lot wrong with the experiments that are going on in the lab.
Naturally, after nasty mutations, zombifications and a ton of
gunfire, we start to get to the bottom of things and learn the true
secrets of what has driven these experiments to go so horribly
The best thing about the video game "Doom"
is the best thing about the movie "Doom"--it's mindless, gory,
profane fun with almost no story whatsoever. Director Andrzej
Bartkowiak--the directorial genius that has given us
2 the Grave" and
knows how to give us violence without anything close to a real plot,
and he gives it to us straight with no chaser at all. It's for
the best--much like the similarly violent-yet-average
of the Dead", "Doom" sticks to the basics by giving us a
horror/action hybrid that involves big guys, big special effects,
and big guns (including the Big Fucking Gun, the BFG from the game
made famous for ripping holes through entire sections of real
estate). Good guys are killed off one by one, and the mountain
of horror-movie clichés (don't peek into that air duct! what
is that thing with the green eyes? don't go anywhere alone!)
made Chuck howl almost all movie long.
"Doom" is certainly a better movie when you
invite five of your friends to laugh at how bad it is; on its own,
it has enough going for it to make it fun if you can get past its
high level of gore. Bartkowiak was smart to let his writers
put in just enough game stuff--the famous chainsaw, naming the lead
scientist "Carmack" after the game's lead designer John Carmack,
getting the design of the main machine gun and chainsaw to look just
like they do in the game...all of these things just make for a
cooler experience. The Rock's line delivery is fantastic in
this movie, mostly because he MUST know how bad the material is; by
the time he is spouting off to a subordinate to "Kill [the zombies]
off...by...any...Means...NECESSARY", everyone in my audience had
lost their mind. Also, lines like "Shut the FUCK up!" get
mucho mileage here, because again, The Rock is so damned funny.
And likable. This is why I keep coming
back to watch his films, and he's got a ton more coming. I
don't think any sane individual would make another one of these
films, but at least the first "Doom" isn't a total embarrassment.
It sticks to the original game's format of "enter room, kill bad
guy, move to next room" very well and there are enough decent
performers to make it watchable. Other than that, keep moving
to the next theater!
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard