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.
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.