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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

Doom  rating

Review: written 2020

Brainless splatter-fest of a movie

Somehow it’s not the brainlessness of a movie that is objectionable, it’s when it sets itself up as something a bit more intelligent or clever that it can really grate. This movie is a case in point, with a proper budget and decent actors: Dwayne Johnson, Karl Urban and Rosamund Pike have certainly demonstrated they can lift the standard of movies they are in. And yet what starts as potentially interesting if well-trodden territory, gets duller as it goes on, as the plot and potential character development to keep us engaged goes by the wayside in favour of a first person gun-splatter-frenzy that fails to engage. Urban and Pike have the closest to actual living breathing characters, but character development is soon side-lined as the opponents become increasingly preposterous and require bigger and bigger guns to defeat. As for The Rock, if anyone starts telling you how effortlessly charismatic Dwayne Johnson seems to be in movies, making lesser movies watchable through his charm, use this monstrosity to debunk their argument. His charisma has apparently been sucked out as he goes through the motions of a thankless script.

The original game was itself particularly dumb, but also enjoyable thanks to the visceral thrill of being nominally in control of events. What the makers of this movie don’t seem to have taken into account, is how dull it can be watching somebody else play the same game. The third act when it moves to a very literal re-creation of that first person shooter experience from the game, is where the film jumps the shark, and you realise it’s doomed to fail. As a result by the time it gets to the ‘hero-fight’, the final level if you like, I was already too bored to care. Turns out it takes some intelligence to make a satisfying brainless movie.





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