Today we open up the doors to The Vault to talk about video game movies. Looking back at the history books, I am not sure there is a good video game movie out there. Mortal Kombat was fun for all the wrong reasons, primarily being a camp fest with little bore and a lot of hair style product. Super Mario Bros. was bad in all the good ways, being one of the most awesomely terrible movies that you can ever watch. The fact is that there is no good video game movies AND if any of you say Resident Evil, I will strangle you! That series sucks so fucking hard and proves that nepotism is alive in well with Milla Jovovich being the star of an action series!
Video game movies are bad for an entire score of reasons. First off, video games are like books. They tell a story, a very long story, that cannot be told within the time frame of a movie. Even eliminating game play, most video game stories run upwards to 3-5 hours. Also, unlike books that try to stick to the premise of the book for the most part, video game movies typically take on an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT concept, even to the extent that the only thing that is the same is the names of characters and the name of the movie (thank you Resident Evil). There are numerous reasons, but for now let us focus on another instance where a video game movie just didn’t get what we came to see, Doom.
After an experiment goes down on Mars, a strike commando team lead by Asher “Sarge” Mahonin (Dewayne Johnson) are sent in to clean up the situation. Among them is Sarge’s second in command John “Reaper” Grimm (Karl Urban) who is coaxed into going to Mars when he learns that his sister, Samantha (Rosamund Pike) was working there. Once there, they learn that they were conducting an experiment to create the perfect human specimen using Martian DNA. This causes mutations to occur, thus creating the monsters that these marines will have to gun down during the movie.
There Are Some Decent Elements of the Film
I will give the devil his due, there are some parts of the film that are well done. There is certainly no shortage of action and the action and it does capture the Doom style of horror to it when the movie is not bombarding you with quick cut action. The first person perspective sequence that occurs when Samantha saves John’s life is a very cool add-on and an homage to the game itself.
Not to mention the movie has a sort of ‘Predator’ thing going for it with marines getting picked off one by one until the big show down between the two super powers. So on that end, it is kind of cool for being a shittier version of Predator.
The Lighting is Absolutely Appalling
Okay… The 2000’s and their horror movies were the worst culprits of this and it has gotten a little better, but filmmakers, please remember to use lighting! It is scary when a creature lurks in the shadows, but when you cannot discern what is a creature and what is a human, then you have a serious fucking problem!
Most of this movie, with the exception of moments when they are in the brightly lit hallway are a hodge podge of blackness. I don’t know who is fighting who, what is killing what, none of this makes any sense. The Thing is a movie that used lighting to perfection. The monster did lurk in the shadows, but at no moment did you question what was going on. You knew what was going on and how it was happening. Doom does not understand this concept and because of it, the movie suffers.
I do not like Karl Urban as an actor. I do not think he is good in any role I have seen him in and this movie is no exception. The entire movie, Urban is seen with the exact same vacant eyed, mouth hanging wide open stare. His lines are dead pan serious and nothing about him screams action hero star. This is the type of movie that may have worked if you had an actor along side Johnson’s villain who is beaming with charisma. Urban doesn’t even come close to that. Instead he makes an action horror movie boring from screenshot to screenshot until the end of the film. Easily one of the nails in this movie’s coffin.
Looking back on this one, Doom did not and still does not hold up. It is filled with a group of sub par actors, the lighting is horrendous, and the movie is released well past the Doom train had left the station, came back, broke down, and now sits in a scrap yard somewhere. There are some cool elements, but they most certainly do not save this movie in the slightest.
Final Score 1.5/5
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