2 out of 10


What Went Wrong With Dwayne

Filmed in Prague, with surprise twists and a fairly strong cast, including actors Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings), Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day, Pride & Prej udice) and Rock (Scorpion King, Mummy Returns), this newest video game to film adaptation delivers with action and suspense but seems doomed on all other levels.

Opening with a chase sequence in a secret military outpost on a remote planet in the year 2145, we are witness to something going greatly awry. Eight USMC marines, led by the Rock as Sarge (based on Doom character Master Sergeant Thomas Kelly), are sent to uncover the mysterious disappearance of the outposts scientists and crew, revealing the usual terrible history of genetic experimentation, this time involving the creation of a 24th chromosome. Rushing to stop the threat of destruction of their home by the encroaching mutation, they discover a disturbing twist which can either save or condemn them.

Written by first time screenwriter Dave Callagham and Wesley Strick (well known for a chain of box office bombs such as Cape Fear, Final Analysis and Arachnophobia), Doom takes us across the galaxy in a world reminicient of Aliens or The Thing. The tension is palatable as the marines venture into the base and are hunted down in the darkness one by one.

For fans of the game upon which it was based, on some levels Doom does remain true - the familiar grey walls, teleportation devices, zombies, big guns and scary monsters, along with appearances by the Pinky Demon (played by Dexter Fletcher), Hell Knight, a well executed Doom-style action sequence and of course the famed Bio-Force Gun.

While the premise was good and visually and atmospherically it is impressive, the story floundered often between appealing to action film fanatics, Doom geeks and becoming a more serious effort. Marked by flat performances, unresolved storylines, characters that were detracting and key scenes that seemed too superficial, it didn't fare well at any of these attempts and settled into a confusion of all three by the end.

Possibly more appealing to younger fans of the game, there are a few scary scenes and some good special effects (may be on the too scary side for very young viewers); it is a film which those who have never played could easily understand, however older fans and viewers may be disappointed by the lack of some game references, missing demons and multitude of flat one-liners.

Fit for downloading only

Film Critic: Jenny M Lillies