The movie industry’s latest attempt to capitalize on the popularity of video games comes in the form of “Doom.” Based on the hit first person shooter, “Doom” delivers some thrills and comes close to being worth the average movie-goer's money.
But ultimately, it fails to live up to the game’s movie potential.
The largest problem with the film is the story. Granted, the game did not provide much of a story to work with, but it did lay down the groundwork.
Set in the near future, a small group of Marines, led by “Sarge” (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), are sent to provide help on Mars when strange creatures attack scientists at a research facility. In the game, these creatures were actually demons escaping through the gates of hell, which just happened to be on Mars.
In the movie, the screenwriters took some liberties to change this major part of the story. The audience soon learns that these creatures are actually humans who, after being attacked by a genetically altered human, become monsters themselves.
This is the major problem with the film. They changed a perfectly good story to become a copy of basically every zombie movie in existence.
I found myself being a little confused by what was going on. Not because the story was confusing, but rather because I had trouble paying attention during the obligatory explanations.
Luckily, a proper story is not a necessity to watch monsters get blown up, and “Doom” does a pretty good job with that part of the film. The movie is just as gory as the game.
There is also some fan service that game players will find amusing.
Whether it was naming a scientist after one of the game’s original creators, or watching “Sarge” use the BFG (which doesn’t stand for Bio Force Gun, like the movie would have you believe) to take down foes in a dramatic fashion, these small little extras are likely to keep fans of the series happy.
Since I was mildly entertained by the action and recognizable weapons, I was able to look past the horrible story and cheesy dialogue in anticipation of the big scene that had been pushed so heavily in the previews. This five minute long scene was shot in the first person view, just like the way the game is played.
I had the feeling going into the theater that this scene would make or break the film. After seeing how iffy the rest of the movie was, I was sure that it would. Somehow, though, it didn’t.
It is definitely an interesting scene, which brought a new idea to movie making. It helped to shed a better light on what the characters were living through, and it also was downright cool in some moments.
Unfortunately, the nature of this view is very disorienting, especially to non-game players. And though it felt like the audience members were actually there, in the movie at times, at other moments it felt downright silly.
After a few creatures faked a grab at the camera and another monster stood there, laughing spookily into the lens, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was in a Halloween maze.
In the end, this scene was just like the rest of the film: A great idea, hurt by some glaring flaws.
Matthew Loriso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.