Monday, October 19, 2009

Doomsday

Doomsday (2008)
**
Watched this the other night wihout any preconceptions, as I'd just grabbed it quickly off the library shelf. Had never heard of it before, but it looked suitably Horrorthonish, and the wife didn't like the look of The Strangers dvd cover, which was the other choice I'd given her.

"Doomsday" is a perfectly unimaginative title for this derivative little British post-apocalyptic flick. It's 28 Days Later crossed with Costner's The Postman, if that makes any sense. There's some pretty images, as these stills suggest, and the plot itself has promise even if we've seen it all before, but the execution is complete paint-by-numbers stuff.


In fact, the narrative structure got so formulaic that at about 20 minutes in, I realized the perfect description for the experience of watching this movie. Imagine any good recent RPG game out on XBox 360, describe the "plot" of the game, and THAT'S how the screenwriters went to work here. It starts with this annoying voice over exposition from Malcolm McDowell and then goes right into point-to-point navigation: how to get the hero from here to here to here. You practically expect to see a "Level Up" screen come on between certain scenes. "Ah here's your weapons. Now let's meet your team. Here's your first destination, go there now. Your next task is blah blah blah."


On top of that, there's all kinds of weird plot inconsistencies and silly special effects that pile up and get distracting. Like a huge field of cattle right inside the quarantine zone where the people have resorted to cannibalism. My favorite is when a few folks escape from one city on a train that goes off into the Scottish countryside. Their pursuers are equipped with motorcycles, buses, jeeps, etc. "But the train is slowly pulling away from the station! What to do? If only there was some way to FOLLOW a train. Something like, you know, a TRACK!?"



3 comments:

50PageMcGee said...

huh. saw this with octo and we both thought it was the shit.

JPX said...

Let this be a lesson to you, Landshark, don't ever show your wife the DVD cover before renting! The Strangers is terrific. I would recommend renting The Strangers but showing her the box from something less freaky-looking like, say, Herbie Goes Bananas, check it out,

http://www.soundtrackfan.com/devol/dvdcover/dvd-herbie-goes-bananas.jpg

Octopunk said...

Not to blunt your joyful memories, 50, but I'd probably say I thought it was about 70% the shit. Meant to write a review but never did.

The director's previous flicks were Dog Soldiers and Descent, two absolutely top-drawer efforts. With this one, it really seemed like he wanted to remake some of his favorite childhood movies.