Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Two Cents: Doomsday Review

March 16, 2008
While not a horror film, there were still a few [mildly] disturbing scenes. I have to agree with Dobe: the film is pure entertainment. A nice, big helping of action with a light sprinkling of comedy and horror, Doomsday, in my eyes, was a success.

It's true that this doesn't have much originality but that's part of what makes it so fun; you're basically watching a bunch of cool 80's movies steam-rolled into a one hour and forty-five minute thrill ride.

The acting, while not Oscar-worthy, was pretty damn good. Mitra felt a bit wooden but there's a good possibility that was what Marshall was going for -- a pure hard ass when the shit hit the fan. Sol (Craig Conway), on the other hand, was very charismatic (which is kind of a creepy thought), for his part. On a personal note, I found a lot of enjoyment seeing familiar faces from Marshall's other films (Dog Soldiers, The Descent).

The action was executed pretty well. The quick cuts (ex. the sword fight) kind of bothered me but it barely merits mention; although it's nice to have extended choreography, a lack of it isn't going to break the bank. There were a couple of decent chase sequences but the final car chase, in my opinion, was one of the best I've seen. Explosions, death, destruction, all of it beautifully shot.

There were some excellent gore effects. Arrows, decapitations, severed and/or crushed limbs, burning bodies, the list goes on. And the infected... oh, the infected. Although not seen too much, their brief appearances should linger. Grotesque. Fans of gore shouldn't be let down.

My only quip, which is really just me splitting hairs, is that parts felt a bit rushed. I think adding maybe five minutes of second unit footage would have made the film more complete.
One example (again, this is person preference): it was mentioned that the team's only way out would be through helicopter extraction and then only if they had the cure. Personally, I would have added a longer, more telling shot of the wall being re-sealed once they were through. I just think it would have really driven home that they were on their own, adding another level of depth to the film. An extra 10 seconds and, voila!, magic.
On the other hand, this is an entertainment movie and I'm sure they were trying to keep things up to speed rather than focus on too much depth. Thus, this is a small, "splitting hair" detail.

Overall, extremely well executed as long as you don't mind the fact that it borrows from so many other sources. It does make it feel more up-to-date with better effects and technology. Apparently Doomsday was made for a mere $30 million. To me it felt -- and looked -- more like it could have cost between $50 and $75 million.
If you're a fan of Neil Marshall's other work and you don't mind straying away from horror, definitely check this out. While a lot of people may not want to buy it, I think it's definitely worth at least one viewing and on a big screen no less.

My final grade: 8/10

No comments: