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Published on March 17th, 2008 | by Erich Becker

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Review: Doomsday

It’s nearly impossible to describe how utterly bad writer/director Neil Marshall’s Doomsday is. Words have not been crafted to solidify the magnitude of the sheer disregard for filmmaking in any coherent sense of the word, instead the art form being degraded to the image of feces splattered on celluloid. If anything Rogue/Universal’s marketing department should be given an award for duping hundreds of viewers into seeing this travesty of a film by marketing it as one thing, and delivering something completely different.

What’s built up to be a film akin to Danny Boyle’s excellent 28 Days Later with shades of Mad Max and Escape from NY thrown into the mix actually turns into a collection of skits turning the post-apocalyptic Scotland into a land where Beyond Thunderdome rejects and Army of Darkness extras do battle for no apparent reason other than they don’t like each other.

The now-cliché story starts in Scotland were the Reaper Virus (Marshall saw Blade II apparently) has decimated the population and the country is being evacuated (Marshall then saw the opening scenes of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, which look nearly identical, giant wall and all). After the virus gets lose in the crowd there’s an uprising by the scared public, flash forward to the future in a society where the government is faced with the stigma of its actions. But the Reaper virus is not dead, it begins to spread in London, and the only way to stop it is to find a cure from newly discovered humans living in Scotland.

The film begins to fall apart at this point, it was actually held together with the promise of its trailer up until about 15 minutes in, where a crack team of canon-fodder begins detailing weapons and armaments that will soon provide no protection to them. For an APC capable of sustaining chemical warfare and .40mm shells, apparently all you need to take it down is a strong fist to bust through the windshield and a few Molotov cocktails.

We’re eventually introduced to the two surviving factions in the land up north with one group lead by Sol (Craig Conway) and the other lead by his father Kane (Malcolm McDowell), a former scientist tasked with finding a cure to the virus, now lives in a castle and conducts his group with medieval mania including executions and Gladiator-like battles. The dramatic entrance of a plate-clad man on a horse in a doomsday film nearly brought the audience to tears, and not in the good way.

They say a million monkey’s typing away will eventually write Shakespeare, what we got in Doomsday was one drunk monkey, with broken fingers taking breaks between masturbating to write a movie so devoid of personality and originality that its almost to the point where the films it pays homage to are worse in the eyes of movie aficionados because of their association to this mess.

The film is riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies. At one point a member of Kane’s group is taking a few survivors of the commando group through a fallout shelter stocked with supplies, they pass right by the clipboard each time they go through, however in 20 years, no one has bothered to go through this stuff? At other times a character has seen a bus, a train, and motorcycles, but upon seeing a Bentley for the first time, she asks, “What does it do?” Seriously? Giving someone a “writing” credit on this film is like giving a first-grader a doctorate for putting crayon to paper.

There are no redeeming qualities to this film at all; it’s so laughable at times I honestly thought it was a better comedy than the recently released Semi-Pro. Even star Rhona Mitra disrobing wouldn’t have saved this mess (contrary to the opinion on Editorial Intern Scott Brooks). Films don’t get much worse than this, and it’s a rare feat to have toppled masterpieces such as Rollerball and Hollowman off my list of worst films ever, but Doomsday secures a place at the near-top of the list for being a genuine demonstration of how NOT to make a movie.

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About the Author

Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!



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