It all started in 1993 when the video game “Doom” widened the eyes of every video game junkie. It was one of the best first-person shooter games to hit the market. Noted for its intense 3-D graphic violence and networked multiplayer gaming, the popularity of “Doom” continued to spread like wildfire, expanding from PC to game consoles, and ultimately to the silver screen.
Containing a slightly different plot from the video game (as if many gamers paid attention to the plot), something has gone terribly wrong at a scientific research center on Mars. Scientists have disappeared, and cryptic recordings reveal an attack of some sort. A group of Space Marines called Rapid Response Technical Squad is sent in as reinforcements against some unknown force.
Armed with enough firearms to bring down an army, the squad heads to Mars to neutralize the unknown enemy. Little does the squad know, this isn’t just any enemy.
The team is headed by the buff and brutal Sarge (The Rock), whose development is somewhat unrealistic. At first, the character seems to be a normal, nice guy. But when thrust into a military emergency, Sarge becomes one-dimensional, spouting lines like “If it breathes, kill it!” The Sarge introduced at the beginning of the film is dead after the first 20 minutes of the movie.
The story is accompanied by a family feud between Space Marine John Grimm (Karl Urban) and his archeologist sister, Samantha (Rosamund Pike). The mini drama is an odd pairing with the shoot-em-up, sci-fi monster mashing, but it works. The plot isn’t overly sentimental, and runs in sync with the action. Its presence in the movie attempts to ground the story to reality, adding a human element to the fantastical plot.
One reason the game “Doom” became so popular was because of its gruesomely disturbing and grotesque monsters. The movie lacks this creativity. Due to bad lighting and constant darkness, it is difficult to even determine whether or not the monsters are even scary. Most of the so-called “monsters” are half-human and zombie-like. Only one monster out of the hundreds in the movie truly embodies the “Doom” spirit, and scares the hell out of you.
The best part of the movie, deserving millions of stars, is a 15-minute segment duplicating “Doom” game play. The audience is put in first-person view of what it is like to exterminate all the monsters in the research center. It is a perfect, live-action replica, never before seen in cinema. This section of the movie is completely flawless. The movements are smooth. The noises, horrific. The sights, incredible. It’s all perfect; a true tribute to “Doom.”
It is difficult to determine whether the movie tries to be funny in its seriousness, or whether it is unintentionally funny. Either way, stupid lines and stupid actions will make you bust a gut. You will laugh even harder when you see the characters react to such situations and lines.
Despite a few chuckles, “Doom” is pretty good at adding suspense to the journey through the research center. The best scares come from false alarms in the search for the monsters. The tension breaks as soon as the monsters are seen, because they are so disappointing in their appearance.
The lack of exotic weapons is another disappointment to the video game-based movie. The best part of the video game is using the crazy weapons. Only one awesome weapon from game play is introduced, but it is barely used in the movie. It was only fired about two times during combat with the enemy.
This 15-minute segment is why you should spend $8 on a movie ticket to see “Doom.” If the rest of the movie had encompassed this creativity and magic of moving-making, “Doom” would be the best action movie of all time.