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The third feature film from British filmmaker Neil Marshall. I thought this was a fun time at the movies, but don't expect anything new here. Doomsday is a pure love letter to Escape From New York and the Italian post-nuke films of the 80's. There are homages all over this thing, and I would like to think that I caught most of them. Hell, even Nightmare City seemingly gets a nod with the look and behavior of the infected. Watch the scene where one of the infected axes his way into Hatcher's compound and see if Lenzi's trash classic doesn't come to mind. Marshall knew what he wanted to do with this film, and he does just that. I have to admit, it was somewhat surreal watching such a film on the big screen, particularly the extended Sol/feast scene, which gets pretty nutty.
Rhona Mitra plays the team leader of the squad sent into the hot zone. She's a gorgeous woman with a killer accent, but she also comes through as a believable action star. I've long been a fan of her's, so it's nice seeing her get a role like this. Craig Conway is warped as the over-the-top Sol, but he lacks menace. He did get me to hate him, but that had more to do with the fact that I found him annoying. The considerable talents of Malcolm McDowell, Bob Hoskins and Alexander Siddig provide solid support despite what little they have to work with.
My biggest gripe with the film is the wall to wall use of music. It seems like there's never a scene that doesn't have some form of music blaring, and that becomes tiresome. A little more subtlety in that area would have been most appreciated. Also, some of the scene transitions feel awkward, and the film itself feels quite rushed. We don't get much down time or quiet moments, it's all very busy.
Still, I must admit that it's decent fun. Original? No. Flawed? You bet. That aside, if you have a certain affinity for this brand of entertainment, you should eat it up. And for the record, I'll take this one over The Descent any day. Mitra puts the wannabe badasses in that clunker to shame.
Of course, it's not, and three decades later, the virus rears its ugly head again, only this time in London. Understandably troubled, the government assembles an elite team of assorted badasses with security clearances, among them captivating police officer Eden (!) Sinclair and sends them over the wall to meet up with Dr. Kane (!!), who, according to recent satellite reconnaissance, might be alive after all and might even have the cure for the Reaper virus.
This, unfortunately, is the turning point for the movie, which, in an eerie mirroring of the events unfolding on screen, veneers from hey-this-ain't-so-bad highway straight into dark, uncharted I-can't-believe-that-somebody-greenlighted-this territory. Let me explain: the group enters Scotland by means of two wheeled, heavily armored APC's, which, as we are explicitly told, were built to protect its passengers from each and every harm that might lurk on the Other Side (capitalized for dramatic effect).
After running over a cow (those things can be tricky at night), the group exits the vehicles and searches an abandoned hospital for clues, while the operator stays put and watches their progress via helmet-mounted cameras on the APC's impressive array of screens. If that description vaguely reminded you of some other movie, you are absolutely right: the entire scene is lifted straight from "Aliens". The fear that "Doomsday" would merely turn into a bad copy of said movie was unfounded, however, because it quickly becomes apparent that "Doomsday" also aspires to become a bad copy of several other movies, including but not limited to the 28... Later and Mad Max series, Waterworld, Gladiator and Lord of the Rings.
After getting attacked by a gang of mohawked punks straight from the "Escape from New York" set, the slightly shaken group flees into the soothing steel embrace of their nigh-indestructible tank things. Little good it does them, as these marvels of military technology are quickly destroyed by a combination of molotov cocktails, arrows and bricks (I couldn't make this up if I tried) in a chase scene again lifted directly from Aliens. The survivors are taken prisoner and we encounter a ragtag society of garishly dressed maniacs who burn alive and devour one of the captives while playing a Fine Young Cannibals tune (my, that's clever) in a scene that tries to be both scary and funny and fails to be either.
Of course, the survivors MIRACULOUSLY manage to escape - on a steam train, waiting for them in a nearby station, no less. Don't ask. Wandering around the Highlands for a bit while not resembling the Fellowship of the Ring at all, they finally traverse a mountain range by means of a gigantic, underground storage bunker filled with mysterious and obviously completely untouched containers, crates and boxes.
After getting kidnapped by some knights on horses, encountering the elusive Dr. Kane who now rules a pseudo-medieval community based in a castle - and defeating his best fighter in a breathtaking and totally unexpected turn of events, the group escapes once again, re-enters the Warehouse of Moria, opens one of the millions of containers nobody ever bothered to look at twice in 30 years of passing through and finds huzzah! - a shiny new Bentley Continental. The tiresome punks from Act I make their reappearance and give chase, only to be killed off in various unexciting ways by the strangely slow but completely indestructible Bentley. Well, whatever. I won't give away the ending, lest I spoil the surprise (ho, ho).
2/10 (one star for the first five minutes).
This movie is a tour de force of idiocy. It is one long line of things so unimaginably retarded, you end up with a slight sensation of vertigo from shaking your head so thoroughly from start to finish. I will mention a few things that stood out as being particularly idiotic, but please believe me when I say that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of five hundred to a thousand equally appalling scenes left unmentioned.
Let's begin. Why are the soldiers at the beginning standing amidst a crowd of plague-carrying Scots? Why are they in front of the fence? As you ponder this, watching them get torn to shreds, you are interrupted by the realization that not only is there a fence behind which they would have been safe, there is also a forty foot tall steel wall a few hundred feet further back. Why are they not behind this wall? Who is in charge of this completely incompetent band of military morons? Why is a chopper behind enemy lines at this point? Why are the soldiers in the chopper not wearing protective gear? Why do they let indigenous Scots covered in blood and grime approach the helicopter? Why do they bring a blood-covered, bleeding, Scottish girl fresh from the crowd of plague-carrying lunatics onto their chopper, which is en route to the safe side of the wall? Is this not...perhaps a little foolish? In 2035, why does the heroine toss her eyeball (yes, really) instead of using a small mirror? Failing that, why isn't she using a little camera and a wrist-mounted monitor? In 2035? On that note: why is the technology in 2035 virtually indistinguishable from technology in 2008? Returning to our heroine, why would she give up her depth perception and risk losing her one eye? Someone might step on it, I'd think? How does the eye rotate on a flat surface without movable parts, while staying in place? Up in Scotland, if the tanks in which the special forces ride are so sturdy and gas-proof and you'd-need-a-50-caliber-rifle-to-put-a-dent-in-this solid, why does it come equipped with a large glass front window which can be shattered by throwing a brick? Why did no one spot the cows from afar? A thousand cows and suddenly they just hit one in the middle of the herd without warning? Ninja cows? Who dyed the Scots' hair? Why do they dye their hair? Why are they armed and working together? Why are they in the hospital after 27 years? Did they sit there for 27 years thinking, "One of these days...!" ? Who took the time to carve the names of disease-victims intricately into the large slab of marble at the hospital? After Scotland is walled in, its population dropping like flies, someone took the time to erect a massive marble wall and start carving the names of the dead into it? Seriously? How could a scientist in 2008 get further with his research in 3 months in a war zone than the entire body of scientists on the planet could in 27 years? Why did the rest of the world's scientists not attempt to concoct a cure for the virus? Why does the guy left behind in the vehicle outside the hospital go out to "help" the girl? Why does he carry her into the tank, remove his protective gear, and then turn his back on her? Who exactly is throwing the grenade right after the guy gets his throat slit and dies?
I could go on for a great deal longer, I assure you. I repeat: EVERYTHING - every single little thing - about this movie is so indescribably retarded as to be downright depressing.
This is the worst movie in the world. Hands down.
Like "Escape From New York" and "Mad Max", "Doomsday" demands a lot of suspension of disbelief to be enjoyable. However, maybe sci-fi flicks could get away with more stupidity in the 80's or maybe Marshall's movie is just extra dumb. Sometimes it seems like the director wasn't even trying to fill plot holes or avoid laughable action scenes. If you're looking out for mistakes in "Doomsday", you'll find plenty to complain about.
So, no, this isn't the high profile follow up one would have wished for after the dense, claustrophobic "The Descent". On the other hand, "Doomsday" doesn't fail to entertain. It's fast paced and charmingly old fashioned. Who else dares to come up with a post-apocalyptic world in which punks and knights rule the country in this day and age? Marshall's love for the project is somehow transmitted to the viewer and actually gives you a very pleasant feeling.
If you're able and willing to turn off your brain, "Doomsday" can be a very entertaining, old-fashioned action movie. It may not be a masterpiece or even a good movie, but it can definitely be seen as a fun little interlude by a director that must not be written off just yet.
Like all films by Neil Marshall this latest effort came with a great air of expectancy, so does it deliver? well it does and it doesn't. Its an apocalyptic tale along the lines of 28 days Later, but it soon spreads its wings and delves into many genres and plucks with its plagiaristic fingers ideas at will from many films. The overall feel of the film is a hotch potch of ideas, one gets the notion that Marshall doesn't have an original idea of his own at all. What is it about the future, that when all law and order has gone and people are struggling to live, find food and drink, some shelter not to mention avoiding a deadly virus etc rational thoughts desert them and the first thing they want to do is build a car or a hotrod motorcycle with skulls on it? .well I'll tell you why, because they need transport to the local Cyber Punk Hair Salon, where they all queue for hours with photographs of their favourite member of Sigue Sigue Sputnik and discuss the merits of Adam Ant's Kings of the Wild Frontier, where they also tell the stylist "I want a Mohican like that...oh and could I have it in bright pink please? damn all out of bright pink, How about luminous aquamarine or cerise? Not only that, but they also live in Glasgow, I don't know if any of you have been to Glasgow, I have many times and its Effing freezing, so why do they all the men go around bear chested and all the ladies wear leather bikinis or less? Maybe its because they are at war with the devilish Dr Kane, who lives in a big Castle, where all the men wear suits of armour and all the ladies have wee lace bonnets and dress like old hags? One thing about a deadly virus it always gives people bad dress sense.
Marshall has made his own bed here and must take responsibility for a lack of imagination, I believe he has stated he wanted this one to be "for the fans", so they could "guess the films he was homaging", but it can't take away from the fact that he has single handedly stolen ideas from Mad Max, Escape from New York, 28 days later, Ivanhoe, Gladiator, Indiana Jones and a host of other genre films. So enough of the good things and on to the bad, oh I mean good, Well the film wastes no time in getting going and it goes along at a fair old pace, so fast you don't always have time to turn your eyes to heaven and tut. The special effects are really good, as are the fight scenes and the driving/chase scenes, the acting is a little stilted though, (ooops I'm back on the negatives again...oh well) the dialogue doesn't fare much better. From my comments you might think I hated this film....I didn't, I don't know why but somehow against my better judgement, I actually enjoyed it, its escapism and fantasy on another level, its not great by any means but if you want a mindless entertainment for a couple of hours, this one fit's the bill. 6/10
Neil Marshall is the director of this sci-fi-thriller-epic. He's also the director of The Descent (2005), an incredible thriller with great tastes of horror with an outstanding grand finale.
Of course that Doomsday is not so refined like his previous movie, but while the The Descent is all about technical perfection, Neil Marshall seems like just having fun here, and that's what makes this movie so enjoyable, because it's thrilling without being intelligent, it's funny without being crappy, it's frightening without being predictable and also predictable without being unpleasant. It's a very uncommon action movie that brings us back to great references in action movies thru the years since the 80's. It could have been a huge mess, but it actually works. It starts as an horror movie like 28 Days Later, then it becomes a sci-fi movie with tastes of Alien, bring us great remembers of Mad Max, passes thru dungeons tales and ends up like The Transporter. Right to the point: Neil Marshall is not afraid to dare and play with clichés in action movies over the decades.
Doomsday has some resemblances to his previous movie: it's all surrounded by a female character; the main character has to deal with "things" that somehow survived in a stark place and the characters has to deal with extreme conditions.
The main character is performed by Rhona Mitra, an actress who is gradually gaining prominence and more interesting major roles mainly in action movies. And she deserves it. Specifically in this movie she is a bad-ass woman with heroic intentions but politically incorrect, which makes her character well edged with an interesting appeal, giving to the audience fair reasons to keep their attention always on her and thrill with every moment she gives. The movie is all about her, and Rhona Mitra was a good choice for the role because she has all the qualities and flaws that fits perfectly to the character.
If you like action movies but it's not worried to dare something a little different from what is being produced in the last few years, this is an excellent choice. It's not something that you will keep remembering for a good time like the movies that became references to this one, but it's something that you will enjoy (a lot) for a few hours.
the gore is consistently excessive and top notch. then out of nowhere, it's a knight on a horse, hey there's Malcom McDowell collecting a paycheck!! boy does his nose crazy silly for some reason! this film is totally intentionally funny and camp. the thing is, i think it has a bit too much of a British sensibility for an American audience, cause there is a certain dryness to the humor, but it's pretty clear that Neil Marshall set out to make a big dumb retarded and fun Hollywood movie, and that ironically Hollywood is too stupid to know how to market it. this will find an audience on video, cause while parts of it are derivative of it's influences, it's too much fun not to like. you just gotta keep drinking and/or smoking! there are only a couple of aspects that keep it from being great - the editing is terrible pretty much throughout, and some of the action is hard to follow. then there is the dialogue that is really poorly staged. like they were working so fast to get the shots and come in under budget (especially at what is supposed to be a climatic scene between our heroine and one of the villains) that they just staged it, shot it once, and the actors were like, hurry up lets be done with this, we're ready to hit up that catered food. but regardless, i had a blast, don't know why my roommate asked the theater management for his money back, what a loser.
If you can imagine that then you'll have a pretty good idea what to expect - no, I didn't think you could.
It does just massively rip off all the above but as I said, I'm not claiming its good, just a lot of fun.
Added bonus is the great music choices which just add to the fun - "Good Tning" by FYC when the main lunatic introduces himself to the crowd and "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood for the big car chase.
Not gonna win an Oscar but a hell of a ride.
"Escape From New York" (9/10) meets "Lara Croft" (1/10) meets "Children Of Men" (0/10) meets "Aliens" (9/10) meets "A Bunch Of Crap" (?), resulting in "Mad Max IV: Beyond Moronic" (-100/10) - a valiant effort in trying to dethrone "Battlefield Earth" as the most idiotic film of this century. This dumb action flick came just an inch away from being an all-out parody of "Mad Max II".
"Doomsday": the movie that presents us with a virus with a sense of humour. Anyone infected will become a Rastafari or a punk, complete with a Mohawk or a full Bob Marley makeover. But let's start from the top... of this s**t-pile.
It's the year 2008, and a deadly virus decides that the Scottish are too numerous, even though they make up less than 10% of UK's population. The virus pretty much drew a straight, precise line - using a ruler - between England and Scotland and decided to spare the English, for some mysterious reason. The oh-so evil English in the uninfected South set up a wall to quarantine the hapless Scots. How these Glaswegians and other Northern Anglo-Saxons failed to notice that an entire, kilometers-long, tall wall was being built to imprison them until it was actually too late to escape past it, well, for that explanation you have to ask the ultra-brilliant script-writer of this nonsense, this MTV/PC-game-age baloney of cosmic proportions.
Is the movie trying to tell us that the Scottish don't wash as regularly as the rest of us, hence deserved to be singled out to be the sole carriers of this plague?
The British soldiers of the year 2008 will kill at the slightest provocation - i.e. they are the evil English working for their evil, democratically-elected government (did anti-English Mel Gibson help write this crap?) and yet these soldiers go against their orders by taking a young girl out of the infected zone with a chopper. Huh? Pedophiles? Why would they do that? Aren't they endlessly evil and obedient? Maybe they saved her because they sensed that she'd make a terrific soldier and shooter with that one eye. You see, in movie-world's special military or police forces it actually helps to have 2D vision. Do not question the logic; I'm sure these wonderful movie people knew exactly what they were doing - every step of the way.
Ah, but I forget that Lara Mitracroft has a fake eye which she uses to watch her targets from a frog's perspective. What good is that? It certainly didn't help her save her colleague early on in the movie. Seriously now, that removable-eye shtick should have been used for a more comedic genre. I think Lara should take that eye, stick it up her derrière's opening, and then with this eye watch things exit her you-know-what... Then she'll know what it felt like for me to watch this hokey, nonsense-a-minute rubbish.
30 years have passed, we're in the exciting future (2038), and the little one-eyed girl has grown into an ugly monster called Rhona Mitra. Unsexy, unlikable, a bad actress, with a masculine face only her infected mother could love. She is sent on a mission to find the cure for this once anti-Scottish virus, which had by then developed a taste for English blood, too. All of London is under threat from a massive plague. The (stereo-)typically evil government is hell-bent to kill off the Londoners at the slightest chance, or at least to let them die off like rats: after all, we all know that British democratically-elected governments had always been inherently psychopathic. Why would the gov't cover up for three years what they knew about survivors in Glasgow? Oh, but I forget: Western democracies are all run by demented politicians - while the likes of Cuba and South Africa are idealism-driven Utopias in which the birds chirp and people smile with the innocence and contentment of young lambs. Or at least that's what left-wing propaganda film-makers want you to believe...
No wonder the UK of 2038 is screwed: when an one-eyed woman is the best that you have to save 10 million Londoners then you must be a desperate nation of people indeed.
If you thought the movie was dumb in the year 2008, just wait until Lara Croft goes to Glasgow of 2038. You will either die of boredom or laugh your butt off watching and listening to dozens of movie clichés and retarded "plot twists". The Prime Minister's suicide is only one of many moronic moments here. And we're never told why Mitra doesn't get infected. Do the silicone implants protect her from the disease? Will she turn the Scottish cannibals into vegetarians? Questions upon questions.
An appropriately terrible soundtrack follows the silly exploits of our mentally-challenged heroes.
It is this movie's script that was infected with an ultra-nasty, resilient virus, but no-one seemed to notice - or care.
If you don't enjoy those things, stop reading. This is for the true believers.
Doomsday is a love letter to 70's and 80's classics like Mad Max and Escape From New York. It's pretty reminiscent of Grindhouse: Planet Terror, so if you enjoyed that modern cult classic, you could get some kicks out of this one too.
Rhona Mitra sizzles as the stoic feminine warrior. She kicks ass, she's looks good. Bob Hoskins gives the movie heart with his fatherly performance, granted he gets less screen time than he deserves. Malcolm McDowell is as entertaining as always, he brings some class to the occasion. But enough about the cast, how about the mayhem? Yes, this film has it all. Crazy punks, medieval gladiators, and modern futuristic soldiers. It's got tons of inventive kills and bloody gore to spare.
The soundtrack featuring 80's style heavy synth, grandiose opera, and 1980's hits such as "Good Thing". There's plenty of enjoyable, cheesy yet clever dialogue.
What more do you need? Action/Horror fans, check out this fun gorefest. Enjoy.
They are attacked fiercely by a large number of punks and since the team was so unprepared it made you wonder what information they had from the photographs taken from the satellite. They try to escape in their vehicles and somebody smashes the window with a rock or something!? How is this possible as we were told that their armored vehicles could withstand high caliber weapons...? Many obvious flaws in the movie combined with a world in the virus infected zone that is to unbelievable...
I can't recommend this movie no matter what.... You will not be able to suspend your critical thoughts when watching this movie.
PS. such a shame that Malcolm Mcdowell chooses to appear in this movie.
Ps. When you read reviews that gives max score check to see if the user has made more than one review. If not consider the possibility of a lobbyist. If you agree consider putting this post scriptum at the bottom at your own reviews.
The problems started for me in the beginning. All of the best films of this genre never had lengthy set ups. In Escape to New York, the president is caught and Snake is on his way in and that's all you really need to know. In the Road Warrior, Max just shows up out of nowhere right into the action. This movie had a long winded exposition by Malcom McDowell and a superfluous action scene aboard a ship.
The film had moments of potential, after the introduction of Sol and the final chase come to mind, but there was quite a bit of nothing going on in between. There were also more than a few clichés. About the only thing missing was a cat jumping out of the shadows.
It may have been intended as an homage to other movies of the genre but it's tributes only served to remind me of how these other films were much more superior and I ended up leaving the theater wanting to see The Road Warrior.
In fairness to the movie I probably did go in comparing it to these other post-apocalyptic films and maybe my expectations were actually higher than I originally thought but despite that it was still a pretty bland film.
the camera shots are way to quick - its like you're having a seizure the entire time.
the script sucks.
being as 'strong' as the leader is, he's horrible at chasing after the 'enemy.'
the movie was confusing because it tries to tie in 8000 different scenarios..i mean, how do you go from getting chased by a horseman to driving a Bentley?
honestly, i would say the first 7 minutes of the movie are the best.
if any type of gore or cannibalism affects you, don't watch it. and if you still really want to watch it, rent it.
on the flip side, Rhona Mithra looks amazing in the movie.
Even the most amateurish film buff could point out the assorted references to "28 Days/Weeks Later," "Escape from New York" (1981), "Aliens" (1986), and the "Max Mad" movies. It's all part of the fun, really, and you can't blame Marshall for making references to the movies he loves and have inspired him as a filmmaker. Even his first feature "Dog Soldiers" (2002) and his superior follow-up horror flick "The Descent" (2005) get some mention here.
In the future, an out-of-control virus called the "Reaper virus" (the "28" movies) completely decimates Scotland, eventually leading to its being quarantined off with a 20-foot-tall, 12-inch-thick impenetrable wall ("Escape from New York") on all sides. The rest of the world goes on as if nothing happened, while millions are forced to fend for themselves in the virus-ravaged wasteland of former Scotland. In the the 30 years since the quarantine, law & order broke down and anarchy took over.
30 years later, the Reaper Virus makes a comeback, this time outside the quarantine zone. More news develops when spy satellites monitoring the former Scotland detect human survivors. Could there be uninfected people? Could there be a cure in there somewhere? Regardless, the government organizes a small task force to go inside and find answers. Nelson (Bob Hoskins), a government handler, is given the assignment of having his best operative Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) go inside with a crack team of commandos and look for answers.
They have 48 hours.
Right away, "Doomsday" removes itself from other post-apocalyptic movies by not focusing on the catastrophe itself and instead just focuses on humanity's attempt to move forward. "Doomsday" is about anarchy, and the downfall of society: What happens when you just leave a country to wither and die in the face of disaster? On the inside, however, it's all about finding a cure or a vaccine and bringing it back to the rest of the world. When Sinclair and her team are on the inside, they're all on their own, but of course they are not alone. As it turns out, barbaric clans have been formed (the "Mad Max" movies), under the leadership of Sol (Marshall's favorite go-to guy and movie regular, Craig Conway), who seeks to lead his punk regalia-clad minions to the conquest of the free world outside the quarantine zone. It should be pointed out here that they're pretty much cannon fodder ("Aliens").
It's fair to chide "Doomsday" for some script deficiencies and overly-abundant throwback references to films past and an apparent lack of details regarding Scotland's decimation in the 30 years since the Reaper Virus's outbreak, and Sol's rise to power. But Marshall keeps "Doomsday" lean and focused. Once on the inside, it's anything goes, as Sinclair and her teammates are pretty much left to fend for themselves when Sol's men ambush them and force them to participate in increasingly sadistic games of violence for survival and for that, the blood and gore is sufficient (Marshall knows no boundaries in the area of special effects).
"Doomsday" is an accomplished third feature from a provocative filmmaker, Neil Marshall. Though by no means perfect ("The Descent" was and I was feverishly looking for "Doomsday" to surpass it), "Doomsday" is still looking to make a killing at the movies this weekend.
-The lead character just comes off as too "bad ass" and there just isn't any enough reason or rhyme for her actions. Besides seeing her mother killed as a little girl, there is hardly anything to her. Just just a vivacious bad ass capable of anything without a moment's thought. Utterly silly.
-From the beginning, that massive wall that was erected overnight along the Scottish border seemed like total malarkey. The faceless soldiers firing upon civilians seemed a stretch too, I mean it is a small country, no doubt those soldiers would have among those civilians some friends and family. It isn't like the civilians were murderous zombies or anything.
-It was hard to believe that they just cordoned off this whole area, not publicly knowing for 30 years that people were still alive there, and never once sending in a team of scientists into an area where this plague is obviously not air borne.
-The armored vehicles that were made to look so impressive with 2035 technology sure didn't stand up very well to a few Molotov cocktails. And the soldiers that completely wigged out so soon must have been the rejects of training.
-When the soldiers accompanying the lead character did die off, I didn't really give a crap because frankly their characters just weren't built up to that point to where I should. It seemed as if the director was just jumping to and fro just as haphazardly as the writers.
-It was humorous to see that after 30 years of complete neglect that the rail lines and even more surprisingly the ELECTRICITY was still completely functional, despite having been left to derelict. There must be no utility workers today in Scotland I guess, being that their system are so indestructible.
-A sweet Bentley that must have had a hatchback V6 ramming into it seemed just as perplexing, but at this point everything was so farcical I didn't much care.
In the end, she leads the band of cannibal mad-men. The writers just went off the deep end on this one.
I can totally understand the bad reviews for this film and why generally it was not that well received but I think a lot of professional critics forgot that all Neil Marshall was doing was what plenty of Hollywood blockbusters have been doing for quite some time eschewing logic in favour of pace, action and spectacle. This is what Doomsday essentially comes down to a hope that the film will be sufficiently action-packed and entertaining that the majority of viewers will overlook or simply not care about the sheer disregard for logic or content. Those that like this film will generally have been won over by this approach, while those that do not will no doubt pick the film up for the very things that it deliberately omits as part of this gamble. This is not me praising or the attacking the film - this is just me observing it for what it seems to be.
It certainly is not a sci-fi rooted in reality, even if that is what the rather dry and serious opening section suggests it is going to be. It doesn't suddenly become something different though, it is a gradual drift into action silliness that starts with moments like Aliens, crosses into Mad Max 2, then into a world of swords and castles then finally into Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome. The uneven tone is a problem and it does make for a strange film that never seems sure of what it is or what it is trying to do. The main thing it appears to be going for is sheer entertainment value and, in this regard, Marshall gets close to his target but just not close enough. At times it is wonderfully silly with great action sequences that throw everything at the screen except logic. These scenes do entertain and do prevent one worrying too much about the logic of a Bentley flying down a highway in a Scottish wasteland (for example) but the film generally doesn't manage to do this across the entire film.
The swords/castle section is part of this problem, as this feels too dry and out of place to really work. Another factor is the violence. OK, I'm not a gore fan at the best of times but I'm not totally against it either. Here there are plenty of gory effects but they do rather detract from the entertainment value of the film by being a bit off-putting in just how graphic and frequent they are. This aspect is also part of the product that contributes to the uneven tone and content. The cast also struggle a little with the uneven tone but mostly they do good work albeit fairing best when the film gets into "balls-out action" stuff in the latter stages. Mitra deserves a lot of credit for her turn and it is a shame that Doomsday will not boost her career as much as she deserves. It is not that she delivers a great character, but that, as an action heroine she does all that is required by being sexy, strong, dark, fearless and attractive, and in doing it she drives the film and makes it work in a way that it may not have done without her. Alongside her the rest of the cast do not have as much to offer but are all OK. Hoskins, Lester, O'Hara, Pertwee, McDowell and others all do what is required of them good enough but not great.
Doomsday is a strange film, which wears the reasons for its relative failure all over its running time. It is uneven, illogical and rather silly, with Marshall's gamble just not paying off sufficiently. Having said that though, the film does at times hit the spot with large action sequences and great pace/energy/style and there is enough to entertain if you are in the mood and willing to forgive it its weaknesses.
I think the writers may have smoked a little too much weed while creating the script. I can picture one of them in his living room, lips pressed to a two-foot bong, thinking "Cannibals. That's it! That's how we make it stand out from Mad Max. Genius!" The plot holes and inanities continue throughout the rest of the film. Even the music was lame. They could have at least included some good heavy metal. Well, the chick with all the face tats is hot, until she gets beheaded of course. If you dig B-grade splatter horror/action with a Hollywood blockbuster budget, you might actually enjoy this film (as it seems other reviewers have). Otherwise, your time might be better spent sitting on the toilet or mowing the lawn.
First off, we have the obvious attempt at ripping off every Post Apocalyptic movie from Mad Max to Resident Evil. Then we have the lame attempt at a heroine played by a woman who couldn't fill Mila Jovovich's shoes if her life depended on it. Then of course we have Sean Pertwee relegated to the role of a simpering coward, which (through no fault of his) is about as believable as Michale Biehn in a dress playing a transvestite. Why you would throw out the chance to put a guy like Pertwee in the lead role is a total mystery to me. Pertwee is entirely believable as the gruff worn out tired soldier who has to go back in for that last fight to save everything. Or have none of the "film makers" ever seen Dog Soldiers? Let's just forget what was probably the oversight of the century and move back to our leading lady shall we?
Rhona is believable as dramatic actress who should avoid action movies like the plague, again, no pun intended. The attempt at gender reversal in the movie is obvious, painfully obvious. She's the rough and tumble character (think Mad Max) who's lost her family and has nothing to live for (think Death Wish) and has to save the world. Why, if you were going to have a one woman army like that, you would choose Rhona Mitra as your lead actress I have no idea. Although Rhona isn't quite as bad, I couldn't help but be reminded of Blood Rayne and the god awful attempts at physical prowess Kristanna Loken provided us. Rhona is nowhere near that bad but she's not much better. She obviously has some ability, but nowhere near enough to make her role in Doomsday work. She is never believable as the heroine, never are her battles even remotely realistic and never do you forget your watching choreographed fight scenes. If your lucky you fall asleep. Unfortunately I didn't.
One of the least believable scene's is the fight between Rhona Mitra's character and a seven foot tall three hundred pound guy dressed in about eight hundred pounds of metal Armour. Apparently to watch this movie you have to throw common sense out the window. Which I guess I should have because during the entire scene all I kept thinking was "I'm pretty sure if you bare fist punch solid steel all you'll wind up with is a broken hand". Not this girl. She can get belted with a spiked Mace full on and come away without a scratch. Well, not quite. At least during that scene Rhona finally gets a cut on her lip... Okay, on to the car because I just can't resist.
What are the odds that thirty years after Scotland is sealed off from the outside world by a giant wall, and taken over by gangs of cannibals, a nice pristine 2008 Bentley would survive it all? Not to mention conveniently situated next to barrels full of untouched gasoline and a crate full of neatly packed (activated) satellite phones that still work. Oh, and that a Bentley could ram through a bus and not even damage it's front end...and get rammed by (and into) dozens of Road Warrior type cars and wind up with just a few scratches? You know I could go on, but I won't. I've wasted enough time on this farce of a movie without thinking about it any more. Sure I'll be ranting about it for weeks and throwing myself in front of people's TV sets trying to spare them the anguish of watching it, but that's another story.
Maybe if they had cast a woman suitable to the role, this movie might have worked. Maybe if they had at least not tried so very hard to rip off so many other movies, I might have liked it. Maybe if I poke out my eye I can get a cool robotic one like Rhona's character has. Totally pointless but completely stupid at the same time!
In all honesty it would seem to me that the Mad Max series is still king of the Post Apocalyptic genre and If this movie is the best that it will go up against in the future, then that title is certainly safe. To the film makers I would say, give us some credit for god's sake. Even Max got shot, beaten to a pulp and could hardly walk by the end of all the movies. Oh, and next time, don't throw away your opportunity to put someone like Pertwee in a role he was born for so you can put people in theater seats to see Rhona's butt in Spandex. It's nice and all but it can't save a movie, at least not this one.
Really it angers me how a good idea is turned in to such a cringing and facepalming orgy.
It is slightly better than Terminator 4, but considering how bad T4 was don't get your hopes up. The only way this movie could have worked is if it was released in 1980 and even then it would make you squeak in pain.
If you like this genre i do recommend seeing it, maybe it will excite you a few times, but mostly to see how a good movie doesn't look like.