Video Game Adaptations Part 4: Doom
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I am horrified to tell you that in exactly 90 minutes we will run out of fuel and enter a sickening nosedive towards the earth. As we don’t want you to be bored for our last time on this planet, I’ve instructed the stewardess to play our in flight movie, Doom, again for you…”
“What’s that? One passenger says he’d rather be splattered all over the landscape right now than watch that film?”
Yup, it’s that bad.
I honestly, thought that Resident Evil was going to be my first rant on this theme. However, I’m sorry to say that Doom beat it to the punch (mostly because of my endless procrastinating with Resident Evil). I’m going to ask a question that I don’t expect an answer to, and it’s a question that leaps to mind a lot when watching these adaptations. It just defies belief, and I will attempt my theory as to why this happens. The question is: What the fuck is the point of adapting a property and then bashing out a third-rate film (being generous) that has very little at all to do with the property that you’re adapting, and more importantly why do you think that “your” version is better than the hugely successful game? Seriously, if you think about it, the property must have come to attention for a reason, and Hollywood being Hollywood we can be pretty certain that reason is money, so why fuck with the formula?
Doom is, in case I’m not being particularly clear so far, a fucking dreadful film. The massively successful game was a first person shooter where the intrepid space marine had, for reasons that I never bothered looking into, landed himself in a situation where he had to slaughter all the legions of Hell to escape. That’s it- that’s the plot. Space Marine, Gates of Hell are open. Shooting things with big gun. Nevertheless, there are several key features of the game that should really be present here, and not one of them is- but I’ll come to this later.
In the film version, The Rock plays “Sarge” leader of a rapid response group of space marines. Included in his motley crew are the usual stereotypical characters such as “Reaper” (Karl Urban), his sister a goody-two-shoes scientist (Rosamund Pike), and various other marine cannon fodder such as the degenerate Portman (Richard Brake- who was excellent in Outpost). Dexter Fletcher makes an appearance as wheelchair bound “Pinky”, but other than that, who really gives a rat’s ass for the characters? Anyhow, there’s an archaeological dig happening in Mars and shit has gone completely tits up. Our intrepid marines are picked off one by one by
zombies monsters before the inevitable show down between Reaper and the fast transforming Sarge.
First up, the acting in this is fine. It’s nothing great, and nobody is ever going to hand out plaudits for the performances in this film, but it isn’t bad. Secondly, the score is an annoying combination of hideous sub “Now Dance” Trance music and odious metal, which clearly blows, but seeing as film-makers seem to think that people who play games have the arrested development and mental faculties of a 14 year old boy, that’s to be expected so doesn’t really bother me. Thirdly, some of the dialogue isn’t two bad- particularly that delivered by Portman, and finally, some of the special effects (particularly the nano-wall and the arc transfer) are quite good.
That’s the upside of this shitburger dealt with.
Firstly, I’m going to deal with the actual technical flaws of this film. It looks like shit, to quote Droid, it’s so fucking dark that it makes AvP:Rectum look like it was shot on the surface of the sun. I’m all for a bit of darkness to establish mood and maybe an atmosphere of dread, but what we have here is a series of gunfights that are ludicrously confusing because you just can’t see what the fuck is going on. Secondly, on this theme, you could quite easily have set this film anywhere and called it anything as the sheer lack of “Doom” imagery is astonishing. Where are the bodies hanging on hooks? Where’s the pentagrams? Why no fire? Why the fuck have you basically made a film that consists of identikit arseholes fighting pug-ugly rubber monsters in identical corridors in the dark?
Now we come round to my big complaint about this film- why bother calling it “Doom”? Basically, the whole Hell plot is completely written out, and replaced with some utter dumbness, and it’s offensively moronic without being entertaining, about unlocking human potential through injecting a serum made from “the 24th Chromosome”. What. The. Fuck. Not only is this ri-fucking-cockulous, but it’s actually more laughable than the whole Space Marine trapped in Hell idea. It’s so dumb that it defies description. Why, arseholes, would you possibly adapt a property and remove the signature feature of the property and as such produce such a milquetoast, shit, watered down, inept, mundane sci-fi film. Why on earth did you think that you know better than the games developers who, let’s face it, made a shit load of cash off Doom and Quake and know exactly what they’re fucking doing. It’s so fucking aggravating. I could accept it if the idea that they had to replace it had been a slice of deep fried gold, but this is a slice of deep fried shit.
Finally, because I can rant about this toss all day long, there’s the stupid and crass nods to the game. Watching The Rock salivate over the “Big Force Gun. BFG” before proclaiming that it’s a “big fucking gun” that he then barely fucking uses is offensive and annoying, but it hasn’t a look in as the worst thing in the film. No, that honour goes to FPS cam, an elegantly designed, clearly thought out, brilliantly storyboarded sequence shot from Reaper’s viewpoint. This is, actually, a shit idea, but what makes it worse is that instead of injecting the urgency of the game into proceedings the camera swings and dips all over the fucking place to such an extent that Mrs. Jarv had to stop watching because of fucking motion sickness. That’s right, you made a 30 year old woman, sitting on her sofa at home physically sick due to motion. Congratulations.
Overall, I don’t recommend this. Actually, I bet that if we ever manage to open the actual gates of Hell then I could repel Satan’s legions by setting up a big screen with this playing and bore them so badly that they would gladly go back to doing the paperwork necessary for torturing the damned. I sorely considered giving this utter shitburger an Orangutan of Doom, but am not for three reasons: firstly, the cast is competent; secondly, this isn’t the most offensively wretched title on this list- it isn’t even top 10; and most importantly that I don’t want to put the double eye-poke fuck you angry ape in this because he’s got “Doom” in his name. Instead, because it is an obvious 0 Chang film, I went out on to the internets and just for this film I found the most crass and obnoxious thing I could for a film that plumbs the depths of stupidity- honestly this is the film equivalent of a sugared up kid screaming at his parents in the supermarket. I give you the Palin of Stupidity:
That is some top photoshop work, whoever did it. Although I don’t necessarily put it past her to do something as cretinous as that.
Until next time,