Doomsday

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Directed and Written by Neil Marshall (The Descent). Starring Rhona Mitra, Bob Hoskins, Alexander Siddig, MyAnna Buring (also in The Descent), David O’Hara, and Malcolm McDowell.

“… maddening mash-up genre picture…”

“You know all those referential spoofs we’ve been getting lately… ? Well, Doomsday is like one of those, except played completely straight.”

This is the reasoning provided by the critics who are bashing Doomsday, which is currently at a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes; of course, that’s only after nine reviews. Well, I agree with their argument, but I disagree with their final conclusion: I thought Doomsday was a good blast of fun and excitement.

I went into this movie wanting to like it (I mean, Doomsday is a film by the guy that did The Descent, one of my favorite movies in the last few years), but expecting I wouldn’t, just from what I had seen in the trailers. I can understand people’s disdain for it – major problems with the plot, lack of focus, etc. etc., but I give credit where it’s due and it’s due.

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Doomsday begins and is coupled with an infection story, similar to that in 28 Weeks Later, etc., but the infection/virus is not the focus. The story is about a really kick ass chick and some other dudes crossing into Scotland, which was quarantined; fighting some crazy people – a bunch of punks who are in a war with some even weirder dudes in a castle (I don’t want to give too much away); and then it gets more kick ass.

I truly enjoyed the mash-up of genre films like Road Warrior, Escape from New York, Resident Evil, something with knights; at the same time that the film was mashing-up these genre concepts, it was paying tribute without being a tribute film. For these reasons, Doomsday is a refreshing and unique apocalyptic film. In addition to all this mashing-up, Marshall creates an odd mix of action comedy, straight-up comedy, horror,straight-up action, thriller, and political commentary (the political commentary being much more prevalent during the first third of the film, or so).

Marshall does deliver some Descent-like suspense and motifs, but other than that, it’s a very different kind of film. Perhaps it’s problem is just how weird it is. Well, I appreciated it.

The best way to describe the final product is this: I wouldn’t say it hit its mark, but I wouldn’t say it completely missed it, either; it’s somewhere on the board, which is a board created by Marshall, himself, for this film.

If you hate it, you hate it. I won’t hate you for hating it. But I enjoyed it. The cast isn’t that bad looking, either.

B- 

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9 responses to “Doomsday

  • evan

    i’m having trouble deciding whether or not to see this.

  • mcdufrechou

    Saw it. Remember when Malcolm McDowell was a good actor? Better yet, remember when you first realized Old Malcolm McDowell is the same person as young Malcolm McDowell? Well, maybe that doesn’t happen to everyone, but it blew my mind.

    I think the Warriors homage was tasteful; the Braveheart homage was campy but cute; and the Road Warrior homage was plagiaristic and poorly executed.

    It’s weird. The Descent had the potential, at least in first part of the film, of being one of our generation’s greatest horror films, while Doomsday really only seems to excel at not being unbearable.

    What was Bob Hoskins doing in this movie? This was a Rogue picture, right? They had to be like, ‘Bobby, bobby, bobby, wasn’t Unleashed cool? Doomsday will only take an afternoon?’

    Okay, rob, I know you had to love the castle scenes. Some Beckinsale-esque chick fighting knights? Come on, its got B.Funk written all over it, but I think you’ll agree with me on this one. Completely unnecessary? I think so.

    Of course, the movie had a lot of plot holes, but it’s that kind of movie so you can’t really nitpick. There’s no point to it. Though I have to bring up this one teensy-weensy plot hole that is really dwarfed by the film’s other problems, but it nagged on me for the entire film. What the hell kind of reinforced, future military ATV / tank has windows that can be broken with one swing of a club? Whatever can’t stop a stick can’t stop a bullet!

  • robfunk

    I agree with everything you’ve said, but I still give props to this flick for trying it out. I thought it was pretty ambitious in how eclectic it was. That said, it was a mess up, but a mess up I enjoyed.

    But let’s talk about what really mattered in the film: the knights. Yup, it was pretty much designed for, granted, and when i saw the first knight my initial idea of the knight was cooler than in the film. You know how his armor was odd, layered metal? Well, I first thought that these guys had made their own armor and retreated to a castle in an attempt to escape the horror of their situation and return to the good ol’ days. I guess it was kind of like that, but, like the whole movie, off.

    It wasn’t great, but it could have been and that’s why I liked it. I know on first read that sounds like the stupidest thing ever put down on OP, but there’s lots of movies out there that suck and are based on not a single good idea. This movie was, but it was executed and molded poorly, very poorly at times.

    So, yeah, I agree with you on almost all counts; I guess I just left the theater feeling more satisfied than you. Perhaps I forced my self to give it too much wiggle room? Probably. But generally, it had potential and moments that we’re really kick ass.

  • mcdufrechou

    Rob, I just noticed you gave Doomsday a B-. What happened to the 1 to 10 scale?

  • KILLER INSTINCT

    i think this movie was the best ive ever seen in my life

    yup
    not into typing right now so i wont get into it

  • neda

    goh to ro heton avazihae khar ama dostam filmo ded megoft bad nest ama be har hal kheli kharen

  • Kim

    I thought it ruled! Seriously, I was on the edge of my proverbial seat the entire time. The only thing I thought was gay was when the blond guy was on top of the car and razors were being thrown at them.

    But other than that it was flippin sweet!

  • faramarz

    persian
    what is doomsday?
    who is vendetta?
    V????
    END OF THE DAYS?
    WHERE IS PRISON?
    where is freeman?
    who is 666?
    tomorow………………

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