Posted July 24, 2008 in The Small Screen

Paying homage to your influences is a time-honored tradition in art, but Doomsday, from writer/director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent), although surely intended as homage, reads more like a montage cribbing the best bits from Marhsall’s favorite films (Mad Max, Aliens, 28 Days Later, etc.). It’s a simple story: a nasty virus (whose effects—other than some really icky facial boils—are never explained) invaded Glasgow 27 years ago and now a squad of troopers are sent into the barricaded no-man’s-land of Scotland to seek a cure because the bug’s broken out in London. What follows is a garbled, ridiculous pastiche of action sequences that look cool but serve no real purpose. Lead actress Rhona Mitra (a low-rent Kate Beckinsale) is given a silly back-story to try to make her into a real character, but any credibility of that is blown because this “elite operative” can’t be bothered to keep her hair out of the way in a ponytail. Marshall’s a good director—his dedication to keeping things away from CGI is refreshing (it’s fun to see cars go off cliffs old-school), and The Descent was top notch scary until it was revealed that the cave dwelling creatures illogically had no sense of smell—but he needs to find a writing partner to beef up his tales unless his true goal is merely to become the next Michael Bay.  (Red Vaughn) 


Universal, 113 minutes

Release date: July 29






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