VIDEO: Doom (2005)

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One of the best first-person shooters makes it way to the big screen.

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  • TheRedWorm

    I think that this movie suffers from the most modern of problems, we-need-to-make-this-semi-plausible-and-in-no-way-supernaturalitis. It’s much lamer to invoke a virus than to just say; whelp, we opened a portal to hell, that’s why there are monsters and zombies running around.

    • Was “Event Horizon” financially successful? Because that was very much about a portal to hell. If it did not meet expectations then that would explain why they cut out the supernatural elements.

      • Cecil_Trachenburg

        Event Horizon did ok in its theatrical run. (26 million in the US) However, this was 1997. Its tough to say if this impacted how Doom was made. Although, the makers of Dredd still had to convince audiences this was not a sequel (or had much to do with) the Stallone Judge Dredd, and that was almost a 20 year gap between films.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      I think the studio just freaked out at the prospect of angry protesters.

  • Richard Eriksson Hjelm

    you know I agree with you on this one

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      Glad to know I’m not alone.

  • Ebb n Flow Man

    If you pay close attention to Sarge throughout the movie you can see more of his evil inclinations. He doesn’t just suddenly become evil. It’s actually pretty subtle, and one more thing I like about the movie.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      He does a full switch when he kills Carmack. That’s when everyone knows he is all the way bad guy. Although the question remains (something they maybe could have explored with a better script) was he really evil or was his evil nature brought out by the virus?

  • Moppet

    I missed the Hell element as well, but a lot was done right. It’s a shame the BFG wasn’t used better, but it did look good in terms of the gun and the effect. I can’t blame him for keeping the BFG props. I imagine quite a few people that like Doom or just out of this world gun models would love to have those sitting around on display. I liked the wheel chair monster’s design. Despite it looking so different from some of the others, it reminded me, very much, of a Doom monster.

    To be honest, and maybe it’s just me, the virus seems less plausible than the teleporter to hell. If you wanted to skirt the issue you could still have hellish beasts, and people being raised as zombies after being killed by the beasts, coming from a portal opened by a teleportation accident. You never have to call it hell. I don’t really see why one wouldn’t call it hell, but that’s just myself maybe. The monsters coming out of a portal thing just seems so much more straight forward and less, needlessly, convoluted than an alien virus. Still, even that isn’t needed, the basic plot to doom is right there and it obviously works well enough for a straight up action setting.

    Still, for anything wrong here, I agree, there were some things that were right, and, despite what I’ve seen some critics say, the first person scene was glorious.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      I don’t blame the Rock for keeping the BFGs. Hell, I would have made sure to put it in my contract.

      I think someone at the studio panicked and made them drop the Hell angle. It is such a close knit part of the series, I highly doubt anyone from ID wanted it taken out.

  • danbreunig

    Well Cecil, you made a quite a positive stand for the official Doom movie. As much as I enjoy your analyses, including this one, this is one time where I have to disagree about this movie having enough merit to justify its being.

    It helped that I saw this in the theatre with low expectations in the first place, but I still feel the movie is a wasted opportunity. It’s true they got many elements right: hallways, keycards, map layouts and designs, human-to-zombie processing, teleports, Berserk, and even a deathmatch–and yet it still doesn’t feel like what Doom is.

    For me the game is all about one thing: MONSTERS. Whatever fighting happens in the movie is very limited, and at most maybe a couple dozen zombies and the final deathmatch scene are involved. Clearly they based this on the then-current Doom 3 with a much broader and more challenging class of enemies beyond the original D1 and D2, but in the end we only see zombies (which I was tired of already back then) and Pinky–i.e. wheelchair guy as a Demon (pink bull). By not going the route of the game–killing in numerous sadistic manners a slew of literal alien monsters from hell–the movie ends up only maybe twenty percent true to the source material. Just like TheRedWorm indicates below, the Doom movie fails by having more “realism” than its very premise deserves.

    This wouldn’t be so off-putting to me if it weren’t for that I’m not really a gamer, although I’ve tried my fair share and eventually quit after a couple levels (although I really got into Quake 2–another Id property). Doom is the big exception: sometimes I’ll still get in the mood to play it today with either extension levels or customized familiar maps, or just cheat codes where you can run around never getting killed while blowing up everything and everyone with rockets. It’s the monsters that make the game so special; they’re like a cast of characters in a beloved theatre play–that you just wanna kill, yet they have some lovable element to them. I’m not just going by my personal preference though–this is what gives Doom its very life. An official Doom movie needs the monsters like PacMan needs ghosts and Mario and Luigi need various turtle foes, or like Call Of Duty needs co-op play to make it what it is. Stripping the enemy hell-monster element from the film doesn’t really warrant sticking the Doom name to it.

    So with the final movie as it stands, we get another basic military fight for survival action movie with a little bit of a Doom twist to it. It came, it went, there’s no need to try to produce another. Which means we’ll never get any more chances to see CGI Cacodemons, Spiderdemons, Mancubi, Revenants, Archviles, Cyberdemons etc. What makes this even more “lost opportunity” is that Universal had plans to make a Doom movie as early as 1995/6 when Doom 2 was still in its prime. Would’ve had cheesier cg effects, but would likely stay truer to the essence of the game.

    Not that there weren’t redeeming qualities, such as the continuous five-minute first-shooter scene (the most “Doom” moment in the whole film) and having Eomer victorious over The Rock in the final battle.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      I agree. I enjoy the film for what it is but it really could have been so much more. A Doom movie in the 90s during the prime of Doom 2 would have been amazing though. They probably wouldn’t have had as much scrutiny (I’m sure they had studio heads checking in since The Rock was on board) and would have had a smaller budget. I may not have looked as polished but we most likely would have had way more action and dudes in rubber suits.

  • Guest

    Doom 3 has been out since 2004. Are you fucking with us or did you mean the 4th game in the series?

    • Kanonite

      He meant at the time this movie was coming out.

    • Cecil_Trachenburg

      What I meant was they were working on the movie roughly around the same time Doom 3 was getting ready to be released.

  • Zyz
  • Endorenna

    Dude, that’s Eomer! I had no idea Karl Urban was in this movie, the only one I’ve ever seen from it was The Rock. It is pretty interesting that he turns into the villain in the end.
    As a side note, I like that Samantha was Eomer’s sister, not his ex-girlfriend or something. This movie didn’t need a romance angle; the familial tie was plenty.

    • Muthsarah

      You’ve seen Dredd, right? Right? If you care one whit for Karl Urban (AKA Eomer), please see that movie. It’s just SOOOOO perfect as a comic-book-turned-modern-action-movie. And he’s the leading man. Masked an’ all, don’t matter, he’s incredible. So’s the rest of the movie. It’s still free from Netflix, if you have it. And even if you don’t, friggin’ see it anyway, however you gotta do. Everyone loves it. EVERYONE. Except Joey Tedesco.