By Johnathan Kroncke
By Johnathan Kroncke
Sadly, its future is in the title.
“Doom” is yet another successful attempt at turning a popular video game franchise into a poor action movie. It is a mistake to try and jump from video games to movies because somewhere along the line, they all fall short.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (“Walking Tall,” WWE) stars as Sarge, the typical muscle-bound Marine in charge of shooting first and asking questions never. He and the other members of the Rapid Response Tactical Squad, or RRTS, are assigned to contain a disturbance in a science facility on Mars.
Along for the ride is Karl Urban (“The Bourne Supremacy,” “The Chronicles of Riddick”) who plays Reaper, the Marine with a troubled past and a childhood fear of the facility on Mars. Together with the rest of the RRTS, Sarge and Reaper quickly discover that the disturbance is nothing more than a few genetically enhanced “creatures” tearing people to pieces. They must contain the threat, as Sarge says over and over again, by using any means necessary.
Despite its many flaws, “Doom” does have some good qualities. Like many action flicks, the special effects look stunning. The transportation system used to travel between Earth and Mars is known as the Ark and is shown as a gelatinous orb that comes up from the center of a dome-shaped room. As each Marine approaches it, the orb sucks them in and spits them back out on the other side.
“Doom” also incorporates a few direct links to the original games, and rightfully so. The most obvious example of this is the first-person view used toward the end of the movie, making it feel as though the audience is inside the screen just as the game does. The filmmakers even went so far as to name two of the doctors, Dr. Willits and Dr. Carmack, after the creators of the original game, Tim Willits and John Carmack.
However, the flaws in “Doom” outweigh its positive aspects. It is quite similar to the “Resident Evil” movies in that it has been built entirely around over-the-top action sequences without much story-telling to go along with it. The attempt to build characters that the audience cares about as well as the explanation of what the creatures are and what happened in the facility is weak and inconsistent with storyline elements.
It takes at least two viewings to fully understand “Doom,” but it is simply not worth a second trip. “Doom” opened at the top of the box office money-makers and will appeal to children and sci-fi fans but it is just another action flick devoid of any quality character building or clear storyline.