Review – Doom (2005)

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doom-56cd7de199ba8Video game movies, man! Possibly one of the film categories with the worst reputations! That being said, I do like and or respect some of them. 12 years ago, when Doom was released in theaters, I was apparently mistakingly told almost the entire movie was shot in first-person’s perspective, like the video games. This ridiculous non-fact was actually what kept me from watching the movie all these years. Lesson learned, don’t solely rely on other people’s words on film. Go check it out yourself! First person or not, how does this film do? Let’s get into it.

Something has gone wrong at a remote scientific research station on Mars. All research has ceased. Communication has failed. And the messages that do get through are less than comforting. It’s a level 5 quarantine and the only souls allowed in or out are the Rapid Response Tactical Squad – hardened Marines armed to the teeth with enough firepower to neutralize the enemy…or so they think. (IMDb)

PEOPLE
★★★

This category is all about the people in the film. This covers their acting ability, if the characters themselves are any good, if they work well together as a team, if they are deeper or flatter as characters, and if the casting director even did their job right. These are all very important issues to consider while reviewing film.
  1.  Acting: ☆☆
    • Up first is acting, in which Doom does not have much of. Surely, they have “acting”, but most of it is particularly bad acting, as if nobody was actually taking this very seriously. What it actually feels like, for instance, is there are short live-action videos while you play the game in the 90s, and this is what they are. Obviously, the focus here wasn’t on acting. No stars, moving on.
  2.  Characters: ★☆
    • With the characters, I noticed a clear effort at attempting to make memorable and diverse characters. You have the innocent, the militant, the crazy one, the flirting one, the normal one, the scientist, and so on. They all have noticeably different personalities and everything, and they all fit the telltale signs of a memorable character…except, they just aren’t. I’m thinking it comes down to importance, which I’ll get into, but the characters weren’t memorable. I’ll give it the one star for trying, though.
  3. Good Casting: ★☆
    • Here’s the reality – the casting wasn’t specifically terrible. Most of the cast was actually known actors, even for today’s standards, so I had no problem watching them by any means. That being said, I’m pretty sure anyone else could play the roles…really, anyone at all. So for that. One star.
  4.  Good Importance: ★☆
    • Next up is importance. As I mentioned above, they build the characters and their personalities rather well, but they still weren’t memorable, and I think it has to do with their importance. Almost every character in this film is two-dimensional and flat. All of their reasons for existing were exactly the same. They were typical marines fighting bad guys. They were all diverse with personality differences, yes, but they were completely replaceable. So we don’t really care who dies. One star.
  5.  Good chemistry: ★☆
    • It’s hard to really tell chemistry when you have a marine team and bad guys roaming about. The only real part I have to focus on is the flirting marine with the scientist, which was okay at best.  One star.

WRITING
★★★

This category obviously covers the writing aspect of the critique. First, you want to know a little bit about the script. Specifically, how is the dialogue? Are they saying anything memorable or inspirational…or was it just a bland conversation to keep the story going? How was the story itself? Was it well-balanced or over-convoluted? Was it original? Was it even interesting? Once again, all very important questions
  1.  Dialogue: ☆☆
    • Most of the lines in this movie are just cheesy and badly written. Once again, not a huge focus. No stars.
  2.  Good Balance: ★★
    • Next up is if it’s a good balanced story or an over convoluted mishap. Hey, this as basic as it gets when it comes to good vs. evil. It’s hard not to understand what’s going on here because it’s so plain. Two stars.
  3.  Good Story: ★☆
    • I almost gave the story zero stars, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much they attempted to scientifically explain the strangeness of what was happening on Mars. I’m not sure if I like that specific decision, but it did help a dead story turn into something a little more. Even if that was just a little – one star.
  4.  Originality: ☆☆
    • Please. It’s a movie where a group of people collectively fight against an unknown threat. Alien, Predator, Resident Evil, some of the Terminator movies. The list kinda goes on from there. This has been seen so many times. Zero stars.
  5.  Interesting: ★☆
    • So, is it interesting? For the simple fact that this is based on a beloved video game, yes. Not a WHOLE lot more than that, though. One star.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES
★★★★★★

Never forget that there are hard-working individuals working on this film day in and day out. It’s a great story, yes, but people helped make that possible. People like the directors, who have to take written word on a script, and somehow translate that for the big screen in a way an audience would understand. Editors, who are given a ton of material and expected to further make that idea and image the director has already – into a reality, like the director of photography, whose job is to make this movie look amazing…whether that means natural settings and landscapes, CGI, 3D, technical effects, or otherwise. The production crew, who are in charge of making advertisements that aren’t false, and don’t give too much away. Finally, the sound crew, who are in charge of everything the audio has – sound effects, sound editing, music, you name it. These are all puzzle pieces.
  1. Visuals: ★★
    • Don’t kill me, but I liked the visuals in this film. I was completely expecting to find terrible CGI and first-person shots, but this actually surprised me. The CGI, when used, wasn’t bad and was intelligently utilized. The aliens/monster things were almost entirely practical effects, so designed costumes…that was probably their best option, and they used it. Two stars.
  2.  Directing: ★★
    • The director was able to successful insert a little soul into the video game, which couldn’t have been incredibly easy to do. It’s not the best story in the world, but I do appreciate what the director did here. I liked the direction. Two stars.
  3.  Editing: ★☆
    • The editing was okay, but nothing I’d consider state of the art. The editor was basically handed a bunch of clips, was told to put them together, and well…that’s what they did. Nothing stood out here. One star.
  4.  Advertisement: ★☆
    • For this, I use both the film’s advertisements and word-of-mouth ads. The trailers were specifically geared for game lovers, and as far as the word-of-mouth goes, I was told it would be almost completely first-person perspective, in which it’s not. Either way, I was misguided to believe it was something it’s not, and that’s just silly…because overall, it was better than I expected.
  5.  Music: ★☆
    • Typical music here, lots of techno/electronic stuff to fit in with the gamer theme, but nothing that stood out. One star

NARRATIVE ARC
★★★★★★★★

Have you ever been left wondering what it was about a film that felt…off, but you couldn’t place what it was? Well, a lot of people actually aren’t educated on the traditional narrative arc structure – which is seen in almost every movie or book story. With a missing piece, you might not understand what feels missing.
  1.  Introduction: ★★
    • With a film with a nice normal balanced narrative, most of these will be fully scored. We start with the introduction – which introduces us to the team, their home base, and the fact that there is a portal to Mars. It also shows us there is a monstrous threat up there, too. Two stars.
  2.  Inciting Incident/Crossing the Threshold: ★★
    • The inciting incident is mostly when the team is told they have a mission, what that mission is, and they cross the threshold when they transport themselves to Mars.
  3.  Obstacles: ★★
    • Not sure if I have to divulge what these are, but…you know…monsters and stuff.
  4.  Epiphany/Climax: ★★
    • This had a pretty cool climax, which actually had to do with that first-person stuff, and because it’s not the whole movie, or even very long, it’s not too much. It’s like a really shortened version of Hardcore Henry. Pretty wild stuff there. Two stars.
  5.  Falling Action: ☆☆
    • The movie just ends after the climax, so there isn’t any falling action.

OVERALL ENTERTAINMENT
★★★

Here’s something most critics overlook because they’re always so keyed in on critiquing the technical elements of a film. Well, that may be statistically accurate, but the numbers that are released aren’t always reflective of what we enjoyed about it…which is when we say the movie was under-appreciated or whatever. This category focuses on pure entertainment.
  1.  Rewatchability: ★☆
    • There’s a very slim possibility that I’d watch it again. However slim, I still have to put one star.
  2.  Fun: ★☆
    • Sure thing, in certain spots. I’ll only give it one star because two would just outright be a lie. It’s not THAT fun.
  3.  Impulse to buy it: ☆
    • Yeah, not gonna happen.
  4.  Impulse to talk to someone about it: ★☆
    • Maybe to yell at whoever told me the entire movie was shot in first-person. LIAR! Other than that, nope.
  5.  Sucks the audience in: ☆☆
    • Nah! I wish it did, but no.

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SPECIALTY QUESTIONS

These are special questions written by you before seeing the movie, based on expectations, questions, stereotypes, you name it. If it’s a Tom Cruise movie, have Cruise-isms, if it’s a horror film, ask how scary it is, if it’s a sequel, ask if it fits in with the universe or if it was even needed to begin with, you catch the drift.

VIDEO GAME
★★★★★★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #1

The first thing that pops into your mind when thinking about Doom the movie, would be this is a video game movie. So as far as that’s concerned, does it feel too much like a video game or does it feel more like a movie? Well, when it does do first-person, it’s a bit video-game-y, but the rest of it feels like any other predator/prey movie. Ten stars.

ACTION
★★★★★★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #2

Another thing you’ll think about when thinking about Doom is possibly the action. It looks like pure action, so let’s specifically rate the action alone. The action is fast-paced, bloody, and constant, just how you’d either want or expect from this film. Nothing wrong here, 10 stars.

ALIENS/DEMONS
★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #3

Next up is the aliens or demons you’re super familiar with in the video games, and definitely something you’d be expecting to see in the movie, and they are indeed here…but not in the way you’d think. They went for a scientific approach to explain what they are and how they exist on a planet they didn’t think held any life. So, ultimately, it went with more of a…virus/zombie narrative like I am Legend. For any other movie, I think part of that was actually smart, especially the genome bits, but it wasn’t for Doom. Five stars.

FIRST PERSON
★★★★★★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #4

Next thing up is first person narrative, which is what I was expecting right off the bat, which isn’t what I got. I would’ve given this a lower score, but I actually ended up liking how they utilized it. 10 stars.

HALFWAY DECENT
★★★★★

SPECIALTY QUESTION #5

Last but not least, is it halfway decent? Meaning, can I personally think of a better way to make it? When I answer that truthfully, I would say both yes and no. A lot of it is better than I could do, but I would personally focus on some of the key elements that needed help, like the acting, dialogue, and especially the importance of the characters. If you have importance, you care about the characters. So, when they die, you say, “Nooo!” So it was halfway halfway decent, five stars.

RATING: 66/100

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One thought on “Review – Doom (2005)

  1. I should be ashamed, but this a guilty pleasure of mine. I had a lot of fun with the game inspiration, the characters, the atmosphere, and even the cheese (and there is a lot of that).

    Liked by 1 person

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