Interesting idea. Adapt a game that focuses on a single person (John “Reaper” Grim ) by making it about a team of soldiers that don’t all die right away. Riiiiight. That’s the primary reason this movie isn’t going to succeed…you just can’t shift the focus. Not to mention the fact that I really didn’t like any of the other soldiers. Portman was freaking disgusting, Kid was stupid (albeit he was on his first mission, but basic training had to give him just a little bit more than that), and don’t even get me started on Goat. I mean, I understand what he was doing with the self-persecution for all your sins (hell, even Nightcrawler did it), but…actually, I didn’t mind Goat so much. I just really hated Portman. Destroyer and Duke were actually kind of cool too, as was Sarge (the Rock). The story concept underneath the whole movie was actually pretty interesting…but not for an adaptation of the Doom games. The Doom games were strictly about demons teleporting in and you killing them, but the story concept here was that there isn’t a third party beaming in…it’s all internal conflict…which as I said was kind of interesting and would have been cool in an independent story…not an adaptation. The movie was much more familiar with Doom 3 than it was with the others…except for the fact that I barely remember playing Doom and Doom 2 when I was like 10…and, just like the game, it’s the sounds that really scare you here. However, unlike the game, all the guns have flashlights attached to them…HALLELUJAH! That was my biggest rant against Doom 3, and then when a mod reloaded all my save games, I just gave up…but I might be willing to try it again now based on the movie. The movie on the whole reflected what it was like to play Doom 3, sneaking through sewers and dark corridors and getting the crap scared out of you by creatures that surprise you and then you kill them. But the absolute best part of the movie? The first person scenario. Where you get to watch the video game being played as it were…that was just so cool…because that’s always been what I’ve wanted…I’ve never considered myself a good enough gamer to play all the way through a game like Doom, so I’d love to watch somebody else play it…this fulfilled my fantasy…course it only lasted for a couple of minutes, but it was worth it. Oh yeah…I also have to mention the twisted part before you get to the fun stuff. The film breaks down into four major sections: Introduction/Exposition, The Scary Part where things jump out at you, The really boring part on morality and following orders and not being a jarhead, and finally the amazing first person gun-and-run followed by a fistfight…because…semper fi, man. Yeah. Anyways…that third section I listed? That really bogged down the movie…cuz the marines think they have to kill everything to contain the threat, and then the kid says they don’t have to and then everybody just has a big shouting match and blah blah blah. I mean, it makes sense why they put it in there for the overall story, but I tell you what, it nearly killed me to have to sit through that.
But you know what really gets me? Hollywood won’t make more game movies because this film is going to under perform. To repeat myself, the fault lies with he who decided that this adaptation needed story. It can’t be the writers because they wrote a really good story…can’t be the director because he’s just working with what he had (and did a fine job of it I might add)..so that shifts blame to the producers…they are the only ones who could have said, “It’s my money, so it needs to do this.” You know what would have made a better game-movie adaptation? Any game that has a movie-like plot already attached to it…like Half-Life or Duke Nukem. Of course, Doom is the logical choice because everybody is familiar with it, but that’s the catch-22…if you make a game-movie that isn’t as mainstream as Doom you won’t do good…but you can’t straight adapt the mainstream game, so it under performs, so you can’t make non-mainstream game-movies. Sadness.
But still (just in case I haven’t already said it), go see this movie. It was highly entertaining (except for the third act) and the first person shooter bit is freaking awesome use of CGI.