the game Doom first appeared, the PC gaming community
was changed forever.
gamers had already experienced the capabilities of the first
person shooter genre in the capable hands of id Software
with their Nazi themed shooter, Wolfenstein 3D.
Doom, on the other hand, introduced something entirely
different with its space themed journey spanning from a
remote space station on Mars straight into the pits of hell.
Players assumed control of a lone space marine sent to battle
the demonic forces unleashed when scientists accidentally
opened a portal to hell while developing teleportation technology.
tiny touches within the game made it a memorable journey:
the method with which the enemies appeared and attacked
at the most inopportune time, the bone chilling sound effects,
and the wide variety of weapons with which gamers could
use to unleash carnage on zombie soldiers, demons, and other
this isn’t about Doom the video game; this
is about Doom the movie adaptation of the video
game, starring Duane “The Rock” Johnson as Sarge.
Yes, dear friends, that sound you hear is the collective
cringing of Doom fanboys around the globe.
cold hard truth is, director Andrzej Bartkowiak’s
Doom begins well enough. We are quickly introduced
to Sarge and his team of spacemarines called in to investigate
a series of possible contamination cases on a space station
Marines must teleport from Earth to Mars via an ancient
teleportation device nicknamed “The Ark.” The
origins of this device are unknown, as the “relic”
was discovered years ago, and needless to say it didn’t
come with an instruction manual. Ok, so this doesn’t
jive with the games storyline completely, but it works.
We lose the “lone space marine” motif initially
because we need fodder for all the cool monsters and demons
they are about the face off against, right?
in principle, sure. Being a video game, Doom was
chock full of “retries” for gamers as they navigated
their way through increasingly difficult levels.
into lava? Respawn.
frag yourself with a misplaced rocket into a nearby wall?
beneath the steel foot of a rather unfriendly Cyberdemon?
For heavens’ sake, respawn!
died a billion different ways by the many obstacles and
opponents, so it's only natural that we will need a bevy
of meat puppets to dispose of along the way. After all,
how could the filmmakers account for the multiple lives
of Sarge had they not given him any companions to push in
front of demons along the way?
is around the point where Doom begins to lose its
appeal. Sure, the set design looks like a spot on incarnation
of the Doom 3 environment, right down to the door
panel sensors, but when you start breaking away from the
essential elements that made Doom so memorable
you end up losing your built in audience.
notes, Warner Brothers?
fans expect a variety of villains, doing the things villains
in the game were known to do. Here we are given one type
of enemy from the game, commonly named The Imp, and said
creature doesn’t even behave as it did within the
game. Imps throw fireballs, they have spikes on their arms
and they shred flesh with their claws. Here we are given
a variation on the nemesis from Aliens, creatures
whose modus operandi are to populate through the infestation
of hosts. If we wanted our Doom mixed with Aliens,
we could have just installed the Aliens TCP WAD instead.
Imps in the film take out marine after marine, usually with
a claw to the face which results in the marine being dragged
off screen to his fate, kicking and screaming. When we finally
get a glimpse at another creature type, there is no real
reasoning to support why this person happened to morph into
a completely different shape and size monster.
seem that the studio had a problem with the theme of “Hell
on Mars,” although they had no qualms using it in
their advertising campaign. What the film does right is
good; the problem is that they are few and far between.
We are given a really well constructed sequence introducing
the Bio Force Gun, or commonly referred to as BFG in the
gaming community. If only this sort of attention was applied
to the rest of the Doom arsenal.
other centerpiece of the film is a brief sequence shot entirely
in a first person perspective mimicking the games on look
and design. This sequence works particularly well, especially
when the chainsaw is implemented. Unfortunately, this sequence
is employed far too late in the game, forgive the pun, and
many of the enemies dispatched during the FPS scenes have
the type of Artificial Intelligence that would rival a carnival
Doom is what it is, an entertaining if basic and
simplistic actioneer and not much more.