Cinema has never been successful when it has tried to adapt video games into film and I would quote Super Mario and Double Dragon as excellent examples. Resident Evil 1 and 2 were better entries, but still lacked the panache that made the titles shine on PC and Playstation.
Doom stands as one of the better conversions, but that isn’t saying much. It is inspired by the best selling shootem’ up of the same name, and roughly (I am told) follows the game’s plot. The film centers on a group of cliché ridden marines, each with a (surprisingly!) interesting character quirk. They are sent to find out what went wrong on a research station in Mars. In my book; when you have paid millions for a potential franchise, you would expect a little more thought to be used, and not reliance on a recycled plot from countless films.
It is nice that the inevitable CGI monsters are kept of screen for long enough to build some tension and help you focus on the characters at hand. The casting of Rosalind Pike as our hero’s sister does distract from the appalling dialogue. Even the Rock, who is getting a reputation for excelling with sub-standard scripts, cannot save the film from mediocrity. His eyebrows and muscle mass aren’t a replacement for character I'm afraid.
The originality is here in small doses, with some atmospheric camerawork that isn't trend breaking, but does carry the suspense along. In particular fans of first person shooters, will love the three minute scene where we are given our hero’s viewpoint as he destroys approaching monsters.
The film is a rip off, but at least it knows its source material, even if the tone and style of production `is ten years too late to be successful, inventive, or entertaining.
Doom - we’re all Doomed