No… that’s not a typo. I’m really giving this zero stars. No stars. Not even half a damn star. It gets zero. Why? Because it’s unoriginal. I know what you’re probably thinking… “But Brodie, Hollywood has a long history of unoriginality, why is this so special?” Well, it’s so blatantly unoriginal, that based on the trailer alone I picked up on at least 3 movies it ripped off. Actually viewing it gave me a few more.
*SPOILERS HERE IN* Don’t read any further if you really want to see it. But I recommend you read further, because you shouldn’t want to see it.
In Doomsday, the deadly Reaper virus breaks out in Scotland, causing the British government to wall off the small nation from the rest of the world. In the year 2035, a whole generation later, survivors are spotted on satellite photos, roaming around the streets of Glasgow. An elite military team is sent in to the desolate landscape that once was the mighty Scotland to extract any survivors in hope for a cure, as the Reaper virus is now making it’s rounds in downtown London.
And then it gets weird. Because this is when the elite military team comes across the crazy, futuristic cannibal warrior savages that now inhabit and rule the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Taken prisoner, someone gets cooked and eaten, big fight scene… Now they’re on the run from the Warrior-king, with King’s sister who is leading some sort of resistance against both ruling clans. The first obviously ruled by her brother, the second led by her estranged dad, who has set up a nice little Renaissance Fair in an old castle. Military team not welcome there… big fight scene… The escape, and now there’s a big chase scene with a souped up yet 25 year old BMW on the perfectly preserved country roads of Scotland. The cannibals are in this chase in standard post-apocalyptic modes of transportation. Lots of beat up old vehicles adorned with various parts of the skeletal structure. And armed to the core. Which product placement wins in the end?
YAAAWWWNNNNWho cares? Did you count ’em all? We’ve got Mad Max, Escape From New York, 28 Days Later…, 28 Weeks Later…(while we’re at it), Waterworld, Braveheart, Army of Darkness, The Village, James Bond (pick a flick), Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and a little Warriors thrown in for good measure.
Admittedly, some of those movies have the benefit of time on their side. The Warriors and Mad Max came out the same year as Alien, Manhattan and Apocalypse Now. In 1979, who would have guessed that in nearly 30 years time, we’d still be talking about the former two, and ranking them up there with the latter three? No one probably. And who knows, maybe in 2035 we’re talking about Doomsday. Most likely cause it actually happened. Hopefully cause it actually happened, because that’s the only way this movie will stay relevant once you’re done reading this review.
Well… let’s move on to the crap production quality, shall we? Where do I start? Is it the complete lack of direction from writer/director Neil Marshall? Yeah sure. That sucked. And I liked his previous effort, The Descent. But this… it’s like he got through the first act and said “Fuck it! You remember Mad Max? Let’s do that for a while.” Then he got halfway through and said “Fuck it! Mel Gibson’s crazy… Let’s do Braveheart for a while. With Malcolm McDowell.” Which is admittedly cool. The Renaissance Fair town is run by Malcolm McDowell, which as a colleague of mine said, “would be a pretty cool Ren-Fair.” But then he got bored with the historical epic angle, and said “Fuck it! Let’s have a car chase.” Can you see why it’s hard to watch?
How about the painfully flat acting of all involved? Including the usually awesome Bob Hoskins. Rhona Mitra, who’s done a few episodes of Nip/Tuck and that’s about it, tries to keep the “Huge star out of nowhere” mojo alive. But… she’s a bad actress. She couldn’t even make the “Fake/Bionic Eye” thing cool. Oh yeah, her character has a bionic eye that she can remove and use as a spy camera. How one royally fucks up the bionic eye/spy camera thing, is beyond me.
I award this film no stars. None. Zero. You go home with nothing. You suck. Do not spend money on this film.
One more thing… if this does actually happen in 2035… could we wall of Wales, instead?