Doomsday film review

doomsdayfrenchI caught this flick the other evening on the SyFy channel, the wife was out and I was looking to un-wind with a passable action film. Doomsday is set in the near future where a contagious disease has wiped out most of the population of Scotland. To contain the virus, the government has sealed off Scotland with a huge wall, installed gunner turrets and mined the sea.

Now, some thirty years later, the virus is back in London and the government needs a team to go into Scotland and find survivors that have been picked up on satellite imagery – hoping to find a cure.

The premise seemed to have promise. The film opens with a nice monologue from Malcolm McDowell and I quite enjoyed the first twenty minutes or so of the movie. Right up until they found the survivors, who in just thirty years had descended into cannibalistic monsters who dressed like they were in a Mad Max movie, or an Escape from New York film, or wait…maybe even as though they were in Waterworld or The Road Warrior. This makes no sense, think of all the clothing stores that they could have gone to, why would people pierce themselves up and wear leather? What is it about post-apocalyptic movies that film makers feel the need to costume survivors in this way?

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The post-apocalyptic survivors of Scotland, where it’s rarely cold and rainy and everyone drives convertibles!

The survivors of the plague, mohawk wearing, leather clad ruffians that they are, have turned into cannibals. Which could be believable if we hadn’t just had a scene where the team, upon entering Scotland, drive through a large herd of cows.

What I am trying to say is that the film becomes wearily derivative of other movies and has poor internal logic. Rhona Mitra plays the one note Major Eden Sinclair, a special-ops officer fitted out with an artificial eye that she can remove and use as a camera. This necessitates an eye-patch to be worn when the eye is out, further reinforcing the fact that her character is a female version of the eye-patch wearing hero Snake Plissken in Escape from New York.

The film largely wastes a strong supporting cast, Bob Hoskins plays himself basically. Alexander Siddig is wasted as the Prime Minister and David O’Hara as the evil right hand man and power behind the scenes should have been given more screen time. Malcolm MacDowell gets some nice scenes, but in a side plot that ultimately goes no where.

To conclude then, this film did offer some schlocky blood spattered fun moments, and some of the action scenes were OK. Sadly though, the film offers little in the way of originality. You might enjoy it, if you haven’t seen the following films: Mad Max, Waterworld, Escape from New York, Aliens and The Road Warrior.

Rating: 3/10

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