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Doom Says

The uber-popular video game gets a big-screen treatment with a predictable plot and a tacked-on final sequence. But even with all the action, violence, mutant-zombies and lots of high-caliber weaponry, it just doesn't elevate a great game to a great movie.


In the near-future, a portal to Mars is discovered, and the remains of a civilization are discovered. The UAC corporation sets up shop with an archaeological dig and find all sorts of cool artifacts. Then things go horribly, horribly wrong in a very bloody and violent way. So a squad of bad-ass soldiers, led by The Rock, are sent in to clean things up. The mission is complicated by Dr. Samantha Grimm (Rosamund Pike), a scientist who is trying to salvage as much research data as she can without getting killed. The mutant zombies--or whatever they are--give the guys a run for their money. But with a seemingly unending supply of ammo, the mutant-zombies are ultimately defeated. Big surprise.


First, this isn't a film that requires much acting. With guns being fired every time someone turns a corner, there isn't much call for character revelations and tender moments. At least that's how it must have been pitched to The Rock, because he only covers two emotions in this film: gruff or screaming rage. He pulls it off, but the screaming gets a bit tedious. Karl Urban (The Lord of the Rings and The Bourne Supremacy), who plays John Grimm, aka Reaper, is serviceable in a role that requires him to have, at least, a little depth, more than any of the soldiers. As plucky Samantha Grimm, John's sister (yeah, nice twist there), Pike (Die Another Day) runs, frets and figures things out pretty quickly, thank goodness. She and Urban have a nice chemistry as well. Too bad they played brother and sister.


Andrzej Bartkowiak (Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds) has given the fans of the popular game an action-packed film--but it just isn't enough for those of us who really love Doom. The world of the game and the world of the movie are slightly different, and that's OK--up to a point. There's always a problem when you want to have it both ways. But unlike its cousin, Resident Evil, Doom is monster deficient compared to the game--until, that is, the final sequence. Shot mostly in a first-person perspective like the game, it unfortunately feels tacked on. The story's logic is ignored for the sake of trailer footage. There is a slight twist at the end which helps, but it just isn't as satisfying as it could have been.