It’s the age of the geek, baby, and every so often you run across the Janet Jackson of Sci/Fi films; bad in the best way, nasty in all the right places, and pure unadulterated fun. Doom is all of that and more. This is a spectacular guilty pleasure movie, much like ”Love You Like a Love Song” by Selena Gomez is a great guilty pleasure song and Laurell K. Hamilton is an author I dabble in every now and then when I want to get the lady-engine revving on all cylinders (chick lit porn at its finest).
Doom is oh-so-loosely based upon the video game of the same name. The film follows a team of Rapid Response Tactical Squad Marines operating in the year 2046 as they deploy to Mars after an emergency Bat Signal is sent from a research station where some mysterious shit goes FUBAR. In an attempt to recover research, lost data, and any (living) survivors, the team learns (one by one) that good and evil doesn’t just come from your soul; it’s coded in your very DNA.
Doom is a total cheesefest in the best way possible. It’s ridiculous, over-the-top, and swings for the fences without taking itself too seriously. One of my favorite moments in the film is when The Rock (Santa has yet to bring me this man naked for Christmas) busts through a wall in the final showdown screaming “Semper Fi, motherfuckers!”. And while we’re on Dwayne Johnson (dare to dream), this was one of his first feature roles and he delivers lock, stock, and smoking barrel. From stern but firm team lead, to morally ambiguous hard-ass, to batshit insane, The Rock is a revelation of rippling pectorals and raging testosterone. Hats off to you, sir (and pants and underwear… etc). In addition to that, the ensemble cast on the rapid response team are each perfectly complete characters within their niches. Each member contributes to the whole picture and creates a sick, twisted synergy that brings this movie home, saving it from the shitfest it so easily could’ve turned into.
You might have to revoke my “honorary nerd” card after this next sentence. I never played video games as a child. My parents thought they would melt my brain and thus I was fed a steady diet of Jane Eyre (now THERE’S a moody bitch) and other classics with carefully moderated amounts of television and movies thrown in. Now, having picked up video games later on in life, pretty much the only thing I can play is the Wii (I will kick your ass in drunken Wii Bowling) and I just don’t have that adolescent nostalgia required for videogame-to-movie adaptations that would forgive some of the flaws in this film.
The pacing of the film was slightly off, making Doom seem jerky and uneven at times (much like the seemingly forced first-person shooter perspective near the end of the movie). The first-person sequence felt shoe-horned in for no other reason than to tie Doom more closely to the originating video game. It was a solid idea that, unfortunately, fell short in execution and was distractingly bad. This sequence was the Kim Kardashian of film (largely irrelevant and irritatingly annoying).
What was really fantastically awful about Doom was also a factor in what made it so awesome; the acting. It was a mélange of script meets actor meets character. Almost every performance is delivered straight from the Nicholas Cage Soap Opera School of Acting and is overly dramatic (at times eye-rollingly so) while still managing to be somehow enjoyable BECAUSE of that. Also of note is the script, which is an example of what happens when Days of Our Lives and Alien have a baby. Some of these gems we’re gifted with include:
“If it breathes… KILL IT.”-Sarge
“We have to stop anything from getting to the surface. By. Any. Means. Necessary.”-Sarge
“We kill ‘em all… Let God sort ‘em out.” -Sarge
“IT WAS HIS FIRST MISSION!”- Reaper
Please don’t take my word for it. The beauty of these lines really shine in the delivery. Rent this, buy snacks, invite that special guy/girl/potted plant in your life over for cuddles and pop Doom in for a good time.
Much like throwing your backup booty call a bone, Doom won’t be the best decision you ever made, but this hidden gem will probably let you do way dirtier stuff to it.
Take a Sip: anytime you hear someone addressed by their “handle I.D.” Ex. Goat, Reaper, Kid (pace yourself).
Take a Drink: whenever Sarge aka The Rock gives you quality crazy eyes.
Take a Drink: anytime you hear the “Arc”, “Nano Wall”, or “BFG-Big Fucking Gun” mentioned or used.
Do a Shot: whenever someone loses their head or gets whipped around little-bitch-style by the anti-hulk.
Pour a Little Out: for The Kid. You’ll know when.
Shotgun a Beer: when the perspective shifts into first-person shooter mode.