Doom (2005) - Unrated Extended Edition

Genre(s): Action / Horror / Thriller
Universal || Unrated - 113 minutes - $29.99 || February 7th, 2006
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2006-02-04


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Writer(s): Dave Callaham (story), Dave Callaham (screenplay) and Wesley Strick (screenplay)
Cast: Karl Urban, The Rock, Rosamund Pike, Ben Daniels


Theatrical Release Date: August 19th, 2005


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • First Person Shooter Sequence*
  • Game On!*
  • Basic Training
  • Rock Formation
  • Master Monster Makers
  • Doom Nation
  • "Doom 3" Xbox Demo


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Plot Outline (from DVD back cover): A frantic call for help from a remote research station on Mars sends a team of mercenary Marines into action. Led by The Rock and Karl Urban, they descend into the Olduvai Research Station, where they find a legion of nightmarish creatures, lurking in the darkness, killing at will. Once there, the Marines must use an arsenal of firepower to carry out their mission: nothing gets out alive.

The video game genre thus far has been more misses than hits in my view. While, at one time, I enjoyed the Tomb Raider movies, I have since found them to be annoyingly over-the-top (like Mission: Impossible 2) and I have yet to see an adaptation that was even close to being good. After modest successes like the Resident Evil movies and despite quite a few failures (Alone in the Dark anyone?), this genre will not go away. The latest addition is Doom starring Karl Urban (The Chronicles of Riddick) and The Rock (The Rundown), and while it isn't as bad as I had imagined, it certainly wasn't very good either.

My primary problem with Doom was, outside of a decent first-person shooter sequence, nothing about the movie was original or even memorable. The creatures, made by Stan Winston's studio, were generic and the characters, while I don't expect extreme depth, were 2-dimensional and very expendible (of course, that's the point of having several characters). The visual effects were also dull as most of the CGI shots looked like something out of the SciFi Channel than a feature film.

Another problem is the monster/alien sub-genre that not only isn't original, but tends to be so dark and murky, that it's difficult to stay focused. Andrzej Bartkowiak, director of a couple ho-hum flicks like Romeo Must Die and Exit Wounds, fails to provide much suspense to a story that's already too mundane and ordinary.

Doom is not a terrible movie, although, from what I've read, fans of video game absolutely hated this so if you've played the game and are looking for a faithful adaptation, either go in with low expectations or skip this altogether.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Even though the movies isn't that great, I would've been interested to hear the comments from cast and crew members about their experiences on the set. I enjoyed hearing The Rock's comments on The Rundown so I was disappointed there was none on this DVD.

Basic Training - This 11-minute featurette covers the different aspects of training the actors in using firearms and tactical maneuvering with an ex-special forces soldier. While not entirely fascinating, it's fun to watch the actors work together and the dedication to their roles...

Rock Formation (spoilers) - The featurette shows the process of converting The Rock into his bad ass, bad guy at the end. The Rock would have to endure 2-3 hours in the make-up chair for his final transformation in the finale. Not really an expansive look or anything, but still interesting to see how much work goes into transforming an actor.

Master Monster Makers - We get to hear from the guys behind-the-scenes as they explain the development of the monsters and zombies, trying to balance between the game, something new and things that they felt were "cool" from horror films in the past. There's also some interview footage with the stuntman inside a few of these monster suits.

First Person Shooter Sequence - The visual effects supervisor explains that he directed this sequence which took 14-days to shootdirect and 3-months to plan. Obviously this sequence was made for the gamers but even I, the non player, found it to be the most original aspect of the entire movie. The featurette shows some of the rehearsal footage, pre-vis shots, etc. and how they put it all together and working within the widescreen aspect ratio. At only five and a half minutes, this one was too short IMO and I could've probably watched a lot more. (Available only on unrated edition)

"Doom" Nation - Examines the die hard fans of the popular game that has sold millions of units worldwide. This gives us novices a look into why it's popular with interviews from various people like hosts on G4 (a TV station for gamers/programmers), those behind the game itself and the cast/crew, talking about their experience with the game. There's also a quick history to how the game got started (and a bigger look at "Doom 3") and innovated the first-person-shooter style.

Game On! - Lastly, this strategy guide featurette are for the beginners as someone guides you through how to play and survive the game. After watching this, I realize what the producers and others were going for in making a movie out of it, but the film was nowhere close to being as scary as the stuff I saw in the game. (Available only on unrated edition).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The movie is presented in anamorphic widescreen, 2.35:1 aspect ratio, since it is your typical sci-fi monster flick, the colors are definitely darker than your normal movie. Although it was probably the director's intention to make the flick more intense, it also was tough to see what was going to even become remotely scared.

What was intense, was the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix that, especially during the spaceship launch/landing, shook the entire room with the sub woofer. Clear monster groans and murderous screams come through each speaker and the dialogue primarily comes out of the center stream.



.::OVERALL::.

As a science fiction monster flick, Doom fails on many levels, even as mindless entertainment. Some fans may appreciate certain aspects -- and they'll enjoy the features --, others will find the entire thing to be a waste.