Game Eaters

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Doom movie isn't that bad

Really, it isn't, and I'm having a lot of trouble understanding why people don't like it so much. Yes, the plot has changed and the baddies aren't from Hell. Was the original plot actually that good? Are people actually angry at the scriptwriters for coming up with a plot that made the monsters and action of Doom make sense when judged by movie standards? That actually had some twists?

Yes, it wasn't non-stop high-flying action and there were a lot of corridors. The game doesn't do much better in the corridor-and-halls department, and if you have don't have a break in the action, it's much, much harder to build suspense. Would critics have preferred a Doom movie that didn't even attempt to be scary?

What's more insulting to the game and fans of the game: a movie that actually tries its level best to take all its content seriously and justify the presence of every element on the screen, or a movie that faithfully rips everything right out of the game and highlights the silliness and campiness of the original game?

This was a low-budget movie, put together by a Czechoslovakian crew that, as far as I can tell, actually played the original Doom. The love for the game is in there and I think the director put more thought into the essense of the Doom experience than the average Doom player. This is evident in the film's nods to the experience of multiplayer Doom. The "handles" of the soldiers, the arena-like settings, the deathmatch at the end of the movie. Anyone who played a LAN party with the original Doom knows, eventually, someone's going to start a punchfest when he runs out of ammo. And it's in the movie.

It's not an overly serious movie and I'd say it's not even really scary. However, it has enough well-timed shock-scares to justify its Halloween release and enough gunplay and pithy quotes to be an enjoyable action flick. Flickering lights, teleportals, weapons floating in mid-air, even berserk mode are all in the movie, and they're all there for a good narrative reason. It even tries to put in its two cents on how it perceives the relationship between games and violence, a dialogue to which the original game was no stranger. It's just articulated in such a way that, in the end, may be too complicated and subtle for the whiny, disappointed IMDB-posting Doom "fans" to understand.


  • nice review, and i think you have summed it up well. Ahhh the days when men where men, a fast computer was a 486 (or a 386 with a co-pro) and we'd have "chainsaw only" deathmatchs. Fun times.... Not so much study though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:09 AM  

  • I told you it wasn't that bad.

    By Anonymous Gene Park, at 3:49 AM  

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