Karl Urban and The Rock star in the big screen adaptation of popular 1993 video game Doom. A movie based on the game had been highly anticipated since the mid-nineties, and when production eventually got off the ground in 2004 Vin Diesel was offered the lead role of John Grimm but turned it down; it eventually went to Karl Urban. The Rock was attached from day one and was also offered the role of the main character, but he too turned it down due to finding the role of “Sarge” a far more interesting prospect. Despite earning 15.3 million dollars during the opening weekend, Doom flopped leaving behind a legion of disappointed fans and movie-goers alike with many making comparisons to “better” films such as Predator and Aliens.
The year is 2046 A.D. and at a research facility on Mars, there is a level five quarantine where people are evacuating the premises through “The Ark”. The only ones allowed in or out are the Rapid Response Tactical Squad, a team of marines led by “Sarge” (The Rock) and a research scientist called Samantha (Rosamund Pike) who has been sent to retrieve the research from the servers. This is where the similarities to the original Doom video game series end. Sarge is a man who clearly respects and cares for his men, but his love for the cooperation and his job soon comes through when half of his squad are killed and mutating into aliens. The orders are to kill anything that breathes, even when it is discovered that not everyone is infected and this results in a showdown between Reaper (Karl Urban) and Sarge.
Despite a lot of gore, action and great special effects, Doom was a big let down. I’ve played the game, but unlike legions of gaming fans that is not why I was disappointed. I actually thought the first person shooter filming style that they adopted was very impressive; What annoyed me was the “domestic problems” that occurred between siblings Reaper and Samantha, as professionals they should have waited until the threat had gone before they began their childish arguing. Drama has no place in a film like this.
Another problem was with the team of marines; for a team that is supposedly the best, there was one man who was on his first mission and was clearly not ready for a job this big, and therefore putting lives at stake. There was another man known as Portman who was an unstable sex-addicted drug dealer and “Goat” was a deeply religious man who cut himself whenever he broke a commandment. Doom was also a very tame horror film in comparison to others, and didn’t fill me with suspense like it should have. At a whopping 2 hours long I found myself counting down the minutes wishing the film would just finish.