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Published on June 21st, 2008 | by simeon

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DOOM

In a remote section of Mars, something has gone horribly wrong for the scientists of the Union Aerospace Corporation’s research facility. Scientists run screaming for their lives from a deadly threat. Trapped on a barren world against forces unknown, the call goes out for an elite team of specialists to contain the situation, and neutralize the threat at any cost.

In the new game to film adaptation Doom which is based on the phenomenally popular game series of the same name, International Action Star The Rock stars as Sarge, a by the book, no nonsense leader Of a rapid response team who have been tasked with quelling the situation on Mars. His #2 is John (Reaper) Grimm (Karl Urban), the son of two scientists who were killed years earlier in a move that drove John from the Red Planet and into the corps.

Unsure about where his head is Sarge suggests John take leave and skip the mission less he provide an unstable factor. Driven by his concern for his sister on the planet, and his devotion to duty, John accompanies his team to Mars via a teleportation device know as the Arc.
In no time the team has arrived and begun sweeping the affected areas of the base, and working to ensure that nothing can return to Earth without permission. As the team surveys the dark and isolated lab areas, John is also reunited with his sister Sam (Rosamund Pike), which brings up the memories of their dead parents and repressed hostility over his departure and emotional distance.
Of course this is a movie based on monsters and violence, so in no time, there are some strange things lurking in the darkened corridors of the lab and the team finds themselves locked in a series of deadly confrontations against enemies of unimaginable horror.

In short order the team is picked off by the deadly opposition which causes strain amongst the survivors, as it becomes clear that the work being conducted at the base was far from the simple excavations that they had been claiming for years. The truth is far more dangerous and soon has the very safety of Earth in the balance.

The changing dynamic soon divides Sarge and John and they find themselves at odds with not only the creatures but themselves as they battle for survival and the safety of the Earth.

As a fan of the game series I had followed the long development of the film with interest. As production began there were reports that the film would deviate from the game in not being set on Mars and following Zombies more than demons from hell. While the film is set on Mars there is some deviation that may upset fans of the game. Hell does not serve as the source of the enemies; rather it is something that is not present in any of the games. Another deviation is that the film unlike the game is not nonstop action.

Doom moves at a very deliberate pace and when the action comes, it tends to be against a solitary foe. Only for a brief segment near the conclusion of the film do we get a battle against a large mass, and then it is very short. The novel first person perspective shown late in the film was great fun as the audience howled with delight during this segment.

The Rock shows once again that he is a rising Star as his charisma and commanding presence propels the film even though he is a supporting character. No matter the cheese factor, or stiff lines, The Rock is such a compelling presence, he makes the film viewable. Urban is good in the lead role, though he is overshadowed by The Rock, as his strong soft spoken mannerisms seem out of place in a macho action setting.

All of this said, while it is by no means a landmark piece of cinema, Doom is fun, and is easily the best game adaptation to film yet.

3 stars out of 5


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