[31/31: The Movie | Part 18] Doom (2005) - Critical Kate Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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[31/31: The Movie | Part 18] Doom (2005)

Doom is a pretty decent mindless action flick for the first two thirds of the film, but when they reveal the "twist" in the third act it takes a sharp turn into stupid.

Admittedly, the Doom games don't give you much plot to work with. Someone opens a portal to hell, resulting in soldier(s) have to fight through endless demons. Works well enough for a game, but there's not enough there for a story without inventing some characters to talk to each other, and developing some sort of arc and climax. The difficulty in adapting the story while trying to remain 100% faithful to the game is likely what led the two writers who tasked with writing the Doom comic to fill sixteen pages with crazed ranting in the style of The Tick's Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight.

For the movie Doom's the writers' solution was to go with the stock action/horror plot of "a group of soldiers get whittled down to just a few survivors." They then took two elements from Doom 3 -- demons from hell and zombified scientists -- and combined them into one: zombified scientists who transform into demons.

The soldiers are introduced to a teleportation unit, which has been dubbed "The Ark" for no real reason other than Biblical references are cool. A few other awkward/nonsensical Biblical references are made, though the existence of hell as a physical realm has been removed entirely from the story. 

The teleportation unit is manned by a character whose bottom half has been replaced with a set of motorized wheels, like a fancy futuristic wheelchair. It's explained by way of exposition that he lost his legs in an early accident with the teleportation unit, where his upper half was teleported one place and the bottom half to another.

Then just to make sure everyone in the audience is paying attention, his lifeless legs suddenly teleport into the room out of nowhere! Even stranger, no one reacts to the legs! Or maybe not so strange, because I think it was actually intended as a flashback, and was just poorly edited.

After that, it's mostly just a standard generic sci-fi action flick...until the absolutely baffling twist.

 

SPOILERS BELOW:

 

It's revealed that when the virus turns people into monsters, they instinctually seek out people who are genetically evil. Because there is a gene that determines whether people are good or evil. Which is the stupidest movie science idea I have ever encountered in a movie in the history of movies. Sigh.

There are even sometimes people who are genetically evil, but they want to be good. One guy tries to be less evil by cutting a cross into his arm with a knife every time he does something evil, in hopes that he can train himself to be good. But he can't, because he's genetically evil. Though when he gets infected and starts turning into a monster, he's trained himself enough that he manages to kill himself before he's fully turned.

So, the monsters seek out evil people because they only want to infect evil people, because evil people turn into monsters. Infecting a good person with the virus would be bad for them, because logically the virus would turn them into a superhero, right? That's the conclusion the scientist studying the virus has come to when she decides to inject her brother -- one of the last surviving soldiers -- with it. Because he's her brother, she knows he's good and not evil, because he's her brother.

And in the one memorable sequence in the entire movie, the virus transforms him into Doomguy. For the next five minutes, we get a first-person gun-view camera angle attempting to replicate the look of the game, as Doomguy goes on a rampage shooting monsters. It's pure blissful absurdity, and thankfully doesn't go on so long that it starts to get boring, though I did find myself wondering: when graphics get to a point where they can achieve this level of realism, will first person shooters look this cheesy?

The movie should've ended right there, but it turns out that was just the beginning of the third act. In an additional twist, its revealed the character we thought was the hero -- played by The Rock -- isn't actually the hero at all, and dies at the hands of the monsters. The one great line in the movie is when The Rock briefly breaks the fourth wall, exclaiming "wait, I'm not supposed to die!"

Then comes the next big twist. Not only was The Rock not the main character, he was also genetically evil. So he transforms into a monster, and Doomguy must defeat him. In one of the longest, most drawn out, boring fight scenes I have ever seen. They went from that crazed Doomguy sequence, to a lengthy scene of The Rock and Doomguy quietly stalking each other from a distance.

When they do eventually decide to actually do something, it turns out that they're all out of bullets! Because we need this fight to last at least five more minutes, and having them constantly missing each other with guns would quickly become comical. So let's have them run out of bullets and fight each other in hand-to-hand combat for five minutes. In a movie based on a game about shooting things.

I was about to have an AVGN moment there, but I will show some restraint. Because I am genetically good.

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