Saturday, March 15, 2008

Doomsday

Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Team of Specialists Sent to Quarantined Scotland in Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Adventure

Neil Marshall’s previous movie, The Descent, a harrowing horror flick which kept you on the edge of your seat, was good enough to earn the #6 spot on my 10 Best List for 2006. So, excuse me for expecting more from his latest offering than a sloppily-edited rehash of sci-fi clich├ęs which look like they were thoughtlessly slapped together by Edward Scissorhands. But that’s exactly what we have in Doomsday, a soulless rip-off which shamelessly recreates a host of memorable scenes from such post-apocalyptic adventures as Resident Evil, Mad Max, 28 Days, Escape from New York, I Am Legend and others.
The story is set in Great Britain in 2035, a quarter century after the deadly Reaper Virus had contaminated Scotland and turned most of its citizens into a race of cannibalistic zombies. This led to the entire country’s being quarantined behind a giant wall, a precaution which was thought to have worked, at least until the new outbreak that has just been discovered in London.
Urgently in need of an antidote lest he lose England to the scourge, too, Prime Minister Hatcher (Alexander Siddiq) decides to dispatch a rescue squad over the wall to retrieve Dr. Kane (Malcolm McDowell), a scientist who stayed behind to try to develop a vaccine. He’s rumored to have succeeded, since there are still some Scots not infected.
When ordered to send in his best man for the job, Police Chief Nelson (Bob Hoskins) taps a woman, Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra), a cool, calm and collected gunslinger every bit as attractive, as she is fearless. She proceeds to lead a hand-picked team of crack commandos into an unrecognizable Scotland which has degenerated into a lawless, desolate environment. The landscape is swarming with gangs ranging from omnivorous ghouls feasting on barbecued human flesh to big-breasted biker chicks with major attitudes to neo-Native Americans with Mohawks and war paint to skull-and-cross boned creeps who look like they wandered in from an Oakland Raider tailgate party.
How these foreign groups have invaded, formed and flourished in the of absence of any infrastructure is never adequately explained, since there’s no time for anything but slaughtering wave after wave of each successive thundering herd. Forget about trying to follow the preposterous plotline, unless you want to laugh.
There are only two reasons to recommend Doomsday. One, that the token black character, Norton (Adrian Lester), doesn’t die first, the only surprise in a flick riddled from start to finish with shopworn screen conventions. Second, Rhona Mitra, the mixed East Indian and British actress, is pleasant to watch playing the invincible heroine, even if in service of a dreadful script.
Still, Neil Marshall should be ashamed for foisting such a disappointing follow-up to The Descent on his fans. For this lame excuse of a movie is an insult to the intelligence of anyone with an I.Q. anywhere above cretin.

Poor (0 stars)
Rated R for profanity, nudity, sexuality and graphic violence.
Running time: 105 minutes
Studio: Rogue Pictures

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