It took 12 years for ID software's game changing release to find it's way on to the big screen and was met with mixed reviews. The original game released as a 1 level shareware download back in 1993 changed the world of PC gaming for good with it's blend of pseudo 3D ultra violence, occult imagery and sci-fi themes and was probability the most played game in the world next to Streetfighter II at that time but was the film any good?
Andrzej Bartkowiak takes the directors chair and he does a smashing job of brining us a big, dumb and very slick action sci-fi. There are no potential Oscar nominations here, there are no deeper meanings or clever layers to be had, it's just good old fashioned action bang bang sci-fi.
The production is brilliant! All the sets are usual sci-fi corridor fare but really have a nice grimy feel to them with some quality CGI in places too. The practical effects are top notch with buckets of gore everywhere and some really fucking cool monsters which look well disgusting, especially in the scene where Sam Grimm is performing an autopsy on one and the film has tons of imaginative things too. As well as the monster designs themselves there are clever touches like the Ark teleporter, nano walls, horrible sewer systems, Pinky's chair plus some cool weapons and general tech.
DOOM's biggest flaw and probably the reason it failed is that it's not really anything like it's game namesake. It completely drops the 'one man Merc blasting his way through Hell' theme for a much more sci-fi based setting. The Satanic imagery has been totally removed (sensitive U.S. Audience perhaps?) and it doesn't feel anything like the game whatsoever. There are continual references to things in the game however and the script tries it's best to drop in familiar nuggets and names which is really cool. In saying all that the film has an extremely similar if not identical feel to the DOOM 3 game which if memory served was released round about the same time and really feel much more like a film version of that particular release so with that in mind it is pretty accurate. The Mars lab setting and back story are almost identical to the game and even some of the monster designs have obviously been heavily influenced by DOOM 3.
The wise decision was also made to not make this for kids. There is buckets of gore and blood and horrible things that people do to each other (and themselves) and it adds to the tense feel that you are really in total danger.
It is perhaps a perfect example of the saying “it doesn't have to be original as long as it's done well!” and DOOM does it very well indeed.
Put your inner snob aside and enjoy some great blasting action!
Striding forth from his lair at Castle Stareskull one morning, Prototron decided to not reign down terror on the villagers, but instead go back inside, crack open a beer and load up Streets Of Rage 2. One hundred years later, he's still there. A avid music maker (of TERROR!) and retro gamer, he can be found whooping any and all heroes at all manner of SNK-based challenges.