Title: Doom (2005)
Runtime: 100 minutes
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak

This is a great example of a film that receives a lot of unearned hate. Doom is a fun action flick that delivers said action in folds. It almost feels like a movie that would’ve come out in the early 1980s as a response to Alien, which isn’t a bad thing.

Sarge (Dwayne Johnson) leads a group of space Marines to a remote scientific research center located on Mars. The center has lost all communication with the outside world, and there are fears that something terrible has happened. The Marines go in to investigate. Things take a turn for the worst when they realize that the problem is being caused by genetically mutated killing machines.

Doom, filmed in 2005, was before Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson really hit his stride as an actor, and he spends the majority of the film looking like a hard ass, and yelling at people. Fortunately, he got much better as his career progressed. Opposite him is Karl Urban, who does a surprisingly nice job, mixing badass and the sensitive type quite well.

Where Doom falters is in the B-story. The film introduces to the audience early on that Urban’s character has a checkered past and that it is related to the destination the group has. The script comes back to this multiple times throughout the film, but always just touching on it. It felt like it was something that would be revealed in the third act finale, but alas, the movie forgets about it, and nothing is revealed. This is a huge loose end that is never tied up, and really hurts the B-story between Urban’s character and his sister. It never feels real, or important. There is also a small love story in the movie that could’ve just been cut out entirely because it never goes anywhere.

Doom has some great special effects, both practical and CGI. It really raises the film a couple notches, and makes me wonder why Doom gets so much hate. It’s a fun action/sci-fi/horror hybrid, and even if you’re not a fan of the video game series, it’s worth a look (even with the gimmicky first-person shooter scene).

Original Uncut DVD

Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions

Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.