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It's true. Doomsday was not screened for the critics, which 9 times out of 10 means that the filmmakers know the critics will just tear it apart. But that's "normal" critics. It's not a movie for the normal masses... this is a movie for: Fanboys!

Let's get this part out of the way now: the biggest complaint anyone can level against Doomsday (other than gratuitous violence, but screw those pantywaists) is that the movie is derivative. And it most certainly is. I counted about five other movies that Doomsday blatantly rips elements from -- 28 Days Later, Aliens, Road Warrrior, Escape from New York, and Cutthroat Island. Okay, maybe not that last one, but there's probably a half dozen more that I can't even name. The point is, Marshall steals from movies that most Fanboys love, and it makes for a very entertaining time.

Doomsday is the kind of movie Escape from LA should have been, but wasn't. For that matter, it was grittier than Thunderdome, and more fun than any Alien movie since Aliens. So, I don't think Fanboys have much to complain about in regards to this film. It's right up their alley.

Rhona Mitra is hot and more than capable in the role of Eden Sinclair, the leader of the band of troops sent into quarantined and walled off Manhattan (played here by Scotland) to retrieve a cure to the Rage virus (known by its local handle "Reaper Virus"). Craig Conway plays Sol (probably the son of Road Warrior's Lord Humungus with a little Wez thrown in for good measure). I didn't think I was gonna like this character from the trailers, but he grew on me. Adrian Lester plays Norton, a military sergeant (and the obvious ancestor of Aliens' Sergeant Apone). He even utters lines by Apone.

It got to be fun to try and name the movies that are referenced. Maybe Neil Marshall thinks it's homage or pastiche, but if you can look past it all, it's highly enjoyable. The action starts early and never lets up. The characters, while cardboard thin in some cases, are still engaging enough to keep you involved. The editing in some fights is a little chaotic, but Fanboys are a hearty lot and will manage to follow without much trouble.

Fans of Marshall's earlier films (Dog Soldiers and Descent) will still be able to see his style and sense of direction (especially his penchant for explosive viscera). Fans of genre filmmaking should catapult themselves into theaters to see Doomsday. It's what they've been waiting for since the late 80's.

Hail the return of Jack Reda to Fanboy Planet. He was an early contributor before moving to the East Coast, where he works as a filmmaker, comedian, writer and paranormal investigator. You may recognize Jack for his recurring role as an arch-villain in Defenders of Stan. He just couldn't stand that none of us had gone to see this film.

Jack Reda

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