One of the best ways to describe the Doom move: a wasted opportunity. It had such potential, but the execution and the final product lacked quality. And although it’s not the best video game adaptation (that’s putting it mildly), we thought that it would be a great opportunity to revisit it. Because why not? We already made a bunch of Resident Evil posts here at IndieGala. So we thought that it would be best to visit another video game adaptation. Doom.
Doom: A failed game adaptation
But what about Doom? Indeed, it’s not the most well-known video game adaptation. Nor is one of the best adaptations out there. Not to mention it’s not the most liked either, as a result of all that. However, what makes Doom a cinematic piece of history, worth revisiting? Or at the very least a guilty pleasure that’s worth indulging if, if you will? Let’s find out.
Revisiting the 2006 movie
To be honest, there’s not much to work with. It’s almost a completely horrible movie. Emphasis on ALMOST. And those little redeeming qualities that it has, are sadly not enough to save Doom. However, let’s start on a positive note.
Of course, this is a highly subjective opinion of the Doom movie. So, take this with a grain of salt. After all, I haven’t even played any of the DooM video games. Hence, my focus on the movie, and only the movie. Regardless. Let’s begin, shall we. Warning! Spoilers are certainly ahead!
Let’s start on a positive note
Firstly, let me just mention that I did somewhat enjoy the movie. I enjoyed a hell of a lot more the fact that The Rock died at the end of the movie. Then again, Doom was made when The Rock was not The Rock that we all know him now. When The Rock was not this action hero guy, and directors dared to kill his character at the end. For the reason that they simply could. But let’s start on a positive note. The good before the bad.
Karl Urban was decent
Certainly Karl Urban is part of the good in Doom. Literally and figuratively. Besides I always enjoy watching Karl Urban in the sullen, brooding and quiet character. He was born to play emotionless characters (cough Dredd… cough). And I guess the role of John “Reaper” Grimm an early typecasting effort to mold him in that guy. Nevertheless, it worked. Karl was fairly decent here, and I might add the only bright spot in this movie. Karl is delivering the goods in Doom, and you should appreciate his dedication damn it. Because nobody else is.
Furthermore, I can’t fail to mention- the music. That’s also in the good section of course. Made by the one and only Clint Mansell, the music was jarring, hype inducing and energizing. Probably, it’s everything that the entire movie is not. And everything that it should be as well, but oh well.
POV shot to the rescue!
And lastly, there’s the fantastic POV shot scene near the end of the movie. In all honesty, it was brilliant. For a moment, it captured the spirit of the DOOM video game. For a moment it brought the game back to life. Consequently, the scene made you feel like you are in the first-person shooter role, and it was awesome. Indeed it was a brief, but highly satisfying experience, that sadly didn’t elevate the overall quality of the movie.
Somehow it felt too little and too late. I had to sit through almost 2 hours of aimless running and shooting in poorly lit scenes, just to get barely 10 minutes of quality footage. While it was short, the scene was in no way a redemption to the god-awful movie prior. Regardless of the fact that it took 2 weeks to shoot that scene (for real).
More bad than good?
And finally, let’s get down to the bad. Where to begin? Is it the generic, stupid dialogue that bothered me the most? Or rather, the convoluted and complex plot development? Ultimately, there may be reason for all of that. Doom could have been a brand new Predator, as it has way too many similarities with the cult 80’s movie.
Doom VS Predator
Space Marines are sent to investigate strange events at a research facility on Mars but find themselves at the mercy of genetically enhanced killing machines. Just swap Mars with the Central American Jungle and swap the Predators to the genetically enhanced humanoid race. Finally, you have the basics of a great yet simple SF thriller. Why does it have to be so complicated? Frankly, it doesn’t, but over here it is.
Consequently, I noticed something as I watched Doom. I could have fast forward about 45 minutes of the movie (somewhere in the middle) and it wouldn’t have made any difference. I would have been able to catch up, and still get the gist of it. Which is a shame, to be honest, because my husband is a fan of the franchise. However, he was left so disappointed the first time he watched Doom, so he refused to watch it now with me. I respected his decision, and I suffered alone.
Great cast and crew
Doom has one of the best and talented crew possible. Andrzej Bartkowiak helms the movie but the screenwriters are not too shabby either. Indeed, Doom is considered David Callaham’s debut movie, while Wesley Strick is credited as a writer of Arachnophobia and Cape Fear before making Doom. All talented people. Even more, Rosamund Pike is in the movie too. Apparently she turned down the role of Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) to work on both this movie and Pride & Prejudice (2005). So why was it so bad? Personally I think Doom had the problem that most video game/comic book adaptations have. The crew is not familiar with the source material, and they’re trying to please everybody. So, they either dumb down the story or they make it way too complicated for it’s own good. Needless to say, it’s bad either way.
However, I must give the credit to the cast. Especially The Rock who’s trying to entertain us, Karl Urban who’s actually trying to act, and Rosamund Pike who’s doing here best to look engaging. Also, I think that this is the first movie of the many to follow in which we (the audience) are learning the fact that The Rock can’t rely solely on his charisma and his presence. A talent for acting is sometimes needed, but he’s got that in short supply. But i’m afraid the acting in Doom is not the only week point.
Another bad game adaptation?
Pretty much everything is. You can clearly see that the making of the movie was in the hands of someone who’s got no idea what the actual game is about. A common ailment between the modern video game adaptations. You can’t expect the actors (as good or charismatic they may be) to carry the movie on their shoulders. Sometimes the writing does that beautifully and this is not the case of that. Over here no one carries the weight of the movie on their shoulders, because there’s nothing to be carried. This is a bad movie. But if you take some of the parts that are barely passable, and make them barely redeemable, you’ll get a a barely watchable movie. A bad movie, but a watchable one at least.
And I do mean bad. The film was such a bomb that, while inducting his father into the WWE Hall of Fame, Dwayne Johnson joked about having starred in it. And as a fun fact… Vin Diesel was supposed to play the role of “Sarge”, but he turned it down. Nonetheless. I think that even with Vin Diesel, Doom would have been flop. Commercial and critical flop as well. Don’t you think?
Your thoughts on Doom
What are your thoughts on the Doom, the movie? Did you like it? Or you thought it was awful? Tell us in the comments below.