Doom (2005)

doom movie poster

One of my oldest and dearest friends and I had our first bonding moments while playing Doom. It was freshman year of college and another buddy of mine had Doom and the Doom-like Heretic on his computer. For reasons I won’t get into I had a key to this friend’s dorm room and used to sneak over to play while he was at work. The guy next door, Jamison, would then pop his head in and seeing what I was doing, would start playing when my turn was up. Many weekends were spent just like that, and through those games we became friends.

I suppose it is a pretty typical man thing to bond over playing games that focus on big guns and blood baths, but there we have it.

A movie based on the game was destined to be bad. Hollywood has a horrible record of converting games to films, and games are inherently difficult to map out into a two-hour piece of celluloid. Games are often low on plot, and give the players control over behavior. And for some dumb reasons, Hollywood producers can’t seem to grasp the things that make games so much fun in the first place.

In the film, the demon creatures are no longer from the depths of Hell but are genetic mutations created in a lab on Mars. It seems the scientists discovered ancient bones of Martian creatures with 24 chromosomes instead of the typical humanoid 23. Being dumb scientists they decide to inject humans with an extra chromosome to make them “super” and instead make them crazy mutant killers. (and yes that was a spoiler, but with a movie this dumb you’ll forgive me instantly.)

In the game, the scientists accidentally opened a portal to Hell while creating transport portals like in Star Trek. There is absolutely no reason to remove that part from the movie except that some screenwriter thought including a portal to Hell was too unbelievable and would hurt sales. Instead, we get this dumb mutant plot which is just as stupid and manage to alienate fans of the game in the process.

There is also more backstory than we need and a ridiculous subplot involving one of the marines and his sister who happens to be one of the scientists. It would have been so easy to use the game’s back story in a quick voice-over or title sequence and then dropped us straight into our marine killing demons. It could have been a great hour and a half of killer action and suspenseful horror. It wouldn’t have been great art, but it would have pleased fans and made more money. Instead, we get a big ball of stupid crap.

The one supposed redeeming moment is when the camera moves into first-person mode just like in the game, but even this looked mostly stupid. It looked too much like the game, actually, and ruined it. In the game, it was fun to not be able to see around corners only to turn them and find a bad guy lurking, but in a film, it was just kind of silly.

So, leave the movie at Blockbuster and download the game to relive those college memories

3 thoughts on “Doom (2005)

  1. Could have used that review two weeks ago. I love “the rock” though. Even after watching The ScorpionKing, I can’t get enough of him. I actually started laughing when the first person scene erupted. Did that just happen?

  2. I recall you and Jamison playing it all the time. I was so computer illiterate at the time I didn’t know what y’all were talking about when you mentioned Doom.

    I wish I’d come by and looked over your shoulder a few times. Unfortunately, I think I was dating a hosebeast at the time…

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