Thursday Night Movie Club
star rating graphicstar rating graphic½
Release Date: October 21, 2005

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Karl Urban
Rosamund Pike
Deobia Oparei
Ben Daniels
Razaaq Adoti
Richard Brake
Al Weaver
Dexter Fletcher
Brian Steele
The Rock
Yao Chin
Robert Russell
Daniel York
Ian Hughes
Sara Houghton
John Grimm
Samantha Grimm
The Kid
Hell Knight
Dr. Carmack
Lt. Huengs
Sandford Crosby
Dr. Jenna Willits
Doom poster
The Rock, Carl Urban and Rosamund Pike in Doom.Surprisingly, Doom isn't that bad of a movie. The action is non-stop, the acting is good for this type of movie, and it does maintain a fair level of suspense.

A "Stargate"-type device is found on planet Earth connecting to the now dead planet Mars. A research facility has been set up there with three divisions: Archeology, Weapons Research and Genetics. Humanoid remains have been found with startling results. The original inhabitants of Mars tampered with Genetic enhancements with startling results. By adding an additional chromosome, they became super-human, quickly healing with enhanced strength. However, in some people, the results were disaterous, leading to insanity and violence.

In the not-to-distant future, the research facility is under lockdown. Sarge (The Rock) is ordered to take his team to Mars to retrieve data, rescue the research team and contain whatever outbreak has occurred. They quickly locate Dr. Samantha Grimm (Pike) who is as much in the dark as the soldiers. One of the survivors is Dr. Carmack (Russell), who is horribly mangled, carrying a severed arm. The incoherent Carmack was the one who ordered the lockdown of the facility.

Carl Urban and The Rock in Doom.The end result, the genetic research team picked up the research of genetic engineering. They picked the wrong subject. The infected person begins to seek out those with similar traits of violence and infecting them. The creature kills the docile types as those people are a threat.

But there is another back-story to Doom. Reaper (Urban) is reunited with his estranged sister, Samantha. They grew up at the facility until an accident killed their parents. Reaper fled Mars, leaving behind is science roots to join the Marine Corps. It is with some trepidation that he returns to Mars. He only goes because his sister is in danger. Blood is thicker than water.

Doom is based on a first-person shooter video game. Director Andrzej Bartkowiak keeps the visuals in line with the game. There are a lot of point-of-view shots from the perspective of various soldiers on the hunt. The technique keeps the suspense alive as the audience is only given glimpses of the mysterious creature roaming the facility. Unfortunately, the technique is over used so the suspense remains at one level and never really becomes truly engaging.

The Rock and Carl Urban in Doom.On the acting front, The Rock is surprisingly good. Sarge is completely committed to the Marine Corps. He is the perfect man for the job. He will do whatever it takes to fulfill his orders. Sarge follows his orders so blindly and completely that his men begin to question his leadership. The result is shocking. Surprisingly, The Rock is not given top billing in the movie. He is listed tenth in the cast list even though he is given most of the spoken lines.

Apart from the three main characters, the rest of the cast is pretty much expendable. Other than The Kid, the rest of the cast is expendable. Other than having differnt names, the soldiers are pretty much interchangeable. With the exception of Samantha, the rest of the characters all go by nick names. There isn't much of an attempt to learn anything about the band of soldiers.

Being good soldiers, the men do not talk much while on their search and destroy missions. Talking would reveal their position to the enemy. Long sequences of the movie are the POV shots. It works to some extent but Doom is consumed with this technique. Reaper's final assault is "played" directly from the perspective of the video game. The audience sees a gun pointing right and left and dispatching the infected humans with maximum gore.

There are some humerous moments but Doom could have used a bit more just to break the suspense for a bit and let it build again. The pacing is too level. More of a roller-coaster ride would have made this a better movie. However, it's not bad if you are in the mood for an action movie.